The development of biomaterials is not a new area of science, having existed for around half a century. The study of biomaterials is called biomaterial science. It is a provocative field of science, having experienced steady and strong growth over its history, with many companies investing large amounts of money into the development of new products. Biomaterial science encompasses elements of medicine, biology, chemistry, tissue engineering and materials science.

Definition Edit

While a definition for the term 'biomaterial' has been difficult to formulate, more widely accepted working definitions include: "A biomaterial is any material, natural or man-made, that comprises whole or part of a living structure or biomedical device which performs, augments, or replaces a natural function".

" A Biomaterial is a nonviable material used in medical device,so it's intended to interact with a biological systems (William 1987)"

A biomaterial is essentially a material that is used and adapted for a medical application. Biomaterials can have a benign function, such as being used for a heart valve, or may be bioactive . Used for a more interactive purpose such as hydroxy-apatite coated hip implants (the Furlong Hip, by Joint Replacement Instrumentation Ltd, Sheffield is one such example – such implants are lasting upwards of twenty years).

Biomaterials are also used every day in dental applications, surgery, and drug delivery (a construct with impregnated pharmaceutical products can be placed into the body, which permits the prolonged release of a drug over an extended period of time).

The definition of a biomaterial does not just include man-made materials which are constructed of metals or ceramics. A biomaterial may also be an autograft, allograft or xenograft used as a transplant material.

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