Biomaterials – A Proven cut above the rest made easy!
In this modern era with the fastest growing technologies, Biomaterials are playing a vital role in medicine as well as medical applications. This article deals with the interesting content of biomaterials!
Let’s consider a situation where the valve in the heart of the patient is affected. It wouldn’t be practically possible to repair the valve every time through surgical methods. It would be better to insert something which would take care of the damaged valve for a long span.
Assume another condition where a patient is suffering from myocardial infarction. The most obvious cause is atherosclerosis where fat plaque gets deposited on the walls of the blood vessels. Therefore, it is essential to remove the plaque. The preferred and traditional method is of using a stent in the blood vessels to prevent the formation of blocks. The main problem with the stent is that the materials used are steel or iron-based. This leads to toxicity and corrosion leading to more problems. It is not much biocompatible. Hence there is a need to develop materials that are human-friendly.
This is where the biomaterials come into play, combined with a stent, it can also cure the existing condition and also prevent the occurrence of further conflicts. The application of these materials is diversified and has multiple uses throughout the entire body.
What are biomaterials?
A quick and easy technical explanation about biomaterials is given by the American National Institute of Health which states that “Any substance or combination of substances, other than drugs, synthetic or natural in origin, which can be used for any pe time, which augments or replaces partially any tissue, organ or function of the body, to maintain or improve the quality of life of the individual”.
Even this definition looks a bit lengthy. It would be easy to understand if we break the definition into parts that follow as Biomaterial is nothing but a substance that is used to replace the damaged organ/ tissue and also facilitates healing for the people.
Biomaterials have their origin in the late 1940s. Professor. Robert S. Langer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an American chemical engineer was a pioneer in biomaterial and is known for tissue engineering. Biomaterials have their traces from ancient Egyptians who used sutures made from animal sinew. Research in this field became prominent in the ’60s. The study and research of biomaterials have had tremendous growth from its history in the past 25 years.
Biomaterial is not only about design, it integrates a lot of concepts like medicine, biology, physics, chemistry, and also tissue and material sciences. Biomaterials include metals, alloys, ceramics, polymers, and composites. Recently emerging materials are hydrogels, films, microfibers, particles, etc. Recent development in biomaterials for tissue generation are 3d scaffolds, and polyanhydride-based biomaterials,3d printing has been playing a major role in the development in the field of medicine as it affords people better quality and better replacement to improve the quality of health as well as the life span.
Now the question is, why has biomaterial been in the hype recently? The biomaterial is both human-friendly and also pocket-friendly, it’s an easy implementation that accompanies modern technology. This is the reason for biomaterials to be in great hype/boom. NCBI states that-” Biomaterials and the concept of bioengineering is tomorrow’s healthcare”. The ultimate aim of biomaterials is to improve human health by restoring the function of natural living tissues and organs present in the human body.
BIOCOMPATIBILITY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT WORD IN BIOMATERIALS
A biomaterial product must be biocompatible otherwise it leads to systemic toxicity. Biocompatibility is explained as the ability of a material to perform an appropriate host response in a specific application.
I am sure that all these facts would have invoked your interest in the field of biomaterials. Let’s wait to know more about biomaterials!
Cheers to the readers!!!
Next- Mechanical properties and host reactions of biomaterials
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