Despite what the near-invincible durability and box office draw of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine has led us to believe, the reality of having metal permanently inside your body isn’t all that great.

Doctors have long relied on surgical clips, primarily made out of titanium or stainless steel, to help with closing off blood supply during an invasive procedure. Often times, as with gallbladder removal, these clips are purposefully left inside the body, their presence generally considered benign. But while complications are rare, they do exist; clips have spontaneously migrated to other parts of the body or pressed up against nerve endings, causing severe pain, and there are case reports of gall and bile duct stones forming around them (They’ve been linked to the several deaths of kidney donors, but these were tied to its improper use, not the clips themselves). They can also interfere with scanning techniques such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Now, a partnership between Kobe University engineers and surgeons has brought about the possible next generation of this technology: magnesium clips that dissolve effortlessly and safely inside a body.

Sizing up to no more than 5 millimeters, the clips, also containing calcium and zinc, were designed by the Division of Mechanics and Physics of Materials at the Kobe University Graduate School of Engineering and the Division of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine. In a study involving mice, the clips were left inside and observed over a span of 12 weeks, and were shown to not affect magnesium levels in the blood or cause inflammation around surrounding tissues. “The volume of the implanted clip was reduced by almost half after 12 weeks. Therefore, the clip is likely to dissolve and exit the body within one year,” representatives from Kobe University wrote in a press release.

Another study with rats affirmed its effectiveness, with researchers using the clips to close off circulation to the liver in order to partially remove it. After eight weeks, there were no complications seen with their lab rats. And with both the mice and rats, there was no interference from the clips when performing CT scans.

There are obviously still many hurdles to pass through before we can expect dissolvable clips in our surgeon’s toolkit, namely human clinical trials, but the researchers are hopeful that these will occur within the next two to three years.

What do you know? Just in time for the next Wolverine movie.