Theoretical questions on broken implants

What if a fully encapsulated xseries broke and you just left it there? Would the body push it to the surface or would it break down the resin, copper, ferrite etc inside? How long would it take for the body to fully break everything down? Decades? Is any of the materials in there in sufficient quantity to hurt the body significantly? Would you end up with an empty glass shell?
(That’s assuming there’s no fatal infection)

My guess is that it would take decades (maybe a lifetime) and that the corroded copper would be the main issue. Also that the initial inflammation would be painful but things would settle down over time. I can’t imagine the human body not being able to deal with a tiny object, however painful it would be.
What do you think? Any sources?

There are a few reports of people who implanted magnets that got degraded into a mess of oxidized powder, encapsulated by the body to isolate the mess from the rest of the body. And I have an unfortunate “implant” in my back (a lead pellet from a shell shot) that’s been there for a good 3 decades and isn’t degraded in any way, shape or form since it got inside me.

I’d think you want an broken glassie out though, because… glass. And if the body does degrade it, you don’t want nasty chemical to course through your system for years. Not to mention, as you say, an infection.

You mean sharp pieces moving around?

Yeah. You’d have sharp edges inside you going slash-slash-slash at each movement. I don’t think glass implants are made of safety glass :slight_smile:

The short answer is, you want to remove anything that’s broken. That said…

It’s kind of an interesting question with many facets, but I’ll comment on the magnets. Definitely want to get a magnet out as soon as possible. The materials used are highly oxidative and crumble and fall apart when exposed to oxygen. Iron rusts and falls away whereas lead forms a patina.

When it comes to something like a chip implant, there are several factors and variables that will affect the outcome and relative safety of leaving something in. The first thing is the bioresen we use to secure the internal components inside the glass… if it covers all the critical components then there is less chance of breakdown and leaching… but this is not something I would ever want to rely on. The resin is not there do perform this function and it’s not a design goal to cover everything inside, just enough to take up most of the void air space.

I personally don’t know if the ferrite rod of the antenna would degrade over time or not. I believe there are some plasticizers involved in making those rods which might protect it from oxidation, but I have no idea and I’ve never tested long term exposure to ion rich fluids before.


Aren’t ferrites simply sintered?
Not that it makes them any safer to implant. But at the end of the day, it’s just iron oxide.

EDIT: hmm and other nasty metals too, according to the Wikipedia page

yeah not likely to be the best thing… and there are “grades” of this stuff as well which i’m sure change the content a bit.

Luckily the ferrites used in RF applications are “soft ferrites” which include Zinc, Nickel, and Manganese. They do not include Strontium or Barium like the hard ferrites, which can be much more dangerous.

There’s lots of data to indicate that humans can handle large amounts of Zinc daily. Nickel is only dangerous in large acute doses which cannot be processed by the liver. Manganism is more a problem for welders who breath the fumes, because manganese is also processed very efficiently by the liver.

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Haha, speaking only for myself, nickel is bad, mmm’kay? I have to buy hypoallergenic belts because I have reactions to nickel. Never mind most watches…

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