Biomaterial

biomaterialThe term biomaterial refers to the substances that have been engineered by humans in order to interact with the human or animal tissues for medical purposes. The science called biomaterial or biomaterial engineering, which experimented with the treatment, repair or replace a non functional part of the body is about 50 years old. Many companies are interested in investing funds for the development of such technologies. Scientists and researchers from the fields of biology, chemistry, medicine, material science and tissues engineering work together to achieve new findings in the field of biomaterial.

The biomaterial is a different element from the biological systems found in the human body, such as bones. It is usually developed from natural elements or directly fabricated in the laboratory, using different elements, such as metallic components, polymers, composite materials or ceramics. The purpose is to replace or adapt for medical purposes, replace parts of particular living structures. Some examples are transplant materials such as heart valves, blood vessel prostheses, skin repair and artificial tissues, cochlear replacements, contact lenses, breast implants, nerves conduits, hip implants, bone plates, bone cements, artificial ligaments and tendons, joint repair, pins and screws for fractures, dental applications or drug delivery.

These biomaterials are checked for biocompatibility upon transplant or introduction to the human body. Depending on the type of material replaced, the compatibility might be checked immediately, such as in contact lenses, but some might need a longer time check, such as in heart valves. This procedure is called biocompatibility. Scientists, researchers and doctors check how the immune system accepts the newly introduced biomaterial in the given organism.

Some procedures make use of biopolymers. These are the cellulose and starch, DNA and RNA, proteins and peptides, sugars, amino acids and nucleotides, which act as a polymer in the help and success of transplants.