Silicon, like carbon, is quadrivalent, and thereby may form an infinite number of chemical substances. A group of such substances, combining carbon, oxygen, and silicon and known as silicones, possesses peculiar physical properties which lend themselves to uses in medicine and industry.
A recent issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association1 describes one of the silicones as acceptable for use in "some kinds of therapeutic exercise for the hands." This particular substance has a putty-like consistency which is not affected by temperature changes (from 0 to 100 degrees C.). Given time, it will assume the shape of its container. If dropped it will bounce, but, if struck a sharp blow, it may shatter.
One property not described by the Journal is the ability to pick up such things as print from a newspaper or comic book. The case of a recent patient affected by the latter property
ROBINSON RCV. CONTACT DERMATITIS FROM SILICONE PUTTY. AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1952;65(1):99–100. doi:10.1001/archderm.1952.01530200103018
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