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Published 2016 | Version v1.0.0
Pictorial Work Open

Split woman


Honorable Mention By 2030, the aging US population will need over 500,000 hip implants each year. This image shows a cobalt and chromium alloy used in these implants. Images like these help researchers study defects which can lead to corrosion and break down in hip replacements. This sample of the metal alloy is only 100 nanometers thick - 100 times thinner than a human hair. At this microscopic scale, we can see variations in the metals crystal structure (here, the black, curving lines show where the sheet is bending). Studying these metals in detail helps researchers design better biomaterials and safer, longer-lasting implants.


This image originally appeared as part of Northwestern's Scientific Images Contest. The contest and subsequent exhibitions are organized by Science in Society, the university's research center for science education and public engagement. Further information and opportunities to participate are available on their website. Prints and canvas editions of these Northwestern research images can also be purchased online (with the small net profit going to science education and outreach programming in the Chicago area).


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Image 05 - Split Woman by Emily Hoffman (HM) - 2016.jpg
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March 30, 2023
March 30, 2023