Are any advancements in penile prostheses on the horizon?
Yes! A research team made up of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Northwestern University, and Southern Illinois University is studying the creation of, for want of a better word, an implantable “exoskeleton” made from a nickel-titanium alloy. This alloy, called “Nitinol” is already used in many types of vascular surgery and has super-elastic properties.
The penile implant the team is working on is a shape memory alloy that’s heat-activated, which means that it “remembers” its original shape. At ordinary body temperature, it remains flaccid, but when heated, the material expands and elongates. Early testing has found that the alloy has mechanical characteristics similar to those of inflatable prosthetics, but don’t require a pump and fluid reservoir.
Ultimately, doctors hope to develop this technology into a better device that will require simpler surgery and will provide men a better experience.
But it will probably be five to 10 years before it’s on the market.