Page last updated at 16:26 GMT, Monday, 13 July 2009 17:26 UK

Old TV screens used in medicine

Flat screen television
Material from the screens can be transformed for use in tissue scaffolds

Waste material from old televisions could be used in medical procedures within the human body according to scientists at York university.

Experts have found a way of harvesting the polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA) from old LCD TV screens which are usually incinerated or dumped in landfill.

It can be transformed into a substance for use in tissue scaffolds, which help parts of the body regenerate.

Experts said it was the first time PVA had been melted in such a way.

The researchers have developed a technique where recovered material is heated in water in a microwave and washed in ethanol.

One of this substance's key properties is that it does not provoke a response from the human immune system, making it suitable for use in biomedicine.

The PVA can also be turned into a substance used in pills and dressings designed to deliver drugs to particular parts of the body, the team of scientists said.

Prof James Clark said: "It is important that we find ways of recycling as many elements of LCDs as possible so we don't simply have to resort to burying and burning them."



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