LCD Screens Recycled Into Medicine (Seriously)

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Here’s a new one: LCD display screens serve as more than just an entertainment outlet. A chemical in the screens can be used to manufacture medicine pills and bandages. Seem impossible, let alone, sanitary? The process is actually quite interesting.

The study's initial purpose was to find a solution to e-waste, a growing problem in both the U.S. and other countries. Photo: Techfresh.net

The study's initial purpose was to find a solution to e-waste, a growing problem in both the U.S. and other countries. Photo: Techfresh.net

According to EurekAlert, researchers from the University of York have found a way to recover polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA), the main ingredient in LCD screens, and transform it into a substance “suitable for use in tissue scaffolds which helps parts of the body regenerate.”

The study also claims that the same material can be used for pills and dressings that are engineered to deliver drugs to specific parts of the body.

One of PVA’s main attraction is that is does not provoke a response from the immune system, which in turn allows it to be used as biomedicine.

But perhaps the coolest thing about this study is its initial intent: to find a solution to e-waste issues.

“With 2.5 billion liquid crystal displays already reaching the end of their life, and LCD televisions proving hugely popular with consumers, that is a huge amount of potential waste to manage,” Professor James Clark tells EurekAlert.

“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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