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Archive for the ‘Biomaterials’ Category

Bone Tissue Engineering

The previous section talked about the pressing need for bone substitutes. Bone Tissue Engineering is an emerging interdisciplinary field that seeks to address the needs by applying the principles of biology and engineering to the development of viable substitutes that restore and maintain the function of human bone tissues. This form of therapy differs from standard drug therapy or permanent implants in that the engineered bone becomes integrated within the patient, affording a potentially permanent and specific cure of the disease state. (more…)

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From as early as a century ago, artificial materials and devices have been developed to a point where they can be used to replace various components of the human body. These materials are capable of being in contact with bodily fluids and tissues for prolonged periods of time, whilst eliciting few, if any, adverse reactions. Key factors in a biomaterial’s usage are its biocompatibility and functionality, which are directly related to the bone/implant interface and their nanoscale interactions. During the past two decades, improvement of these interfaces using nanoscale coatings and surface modifications have been of interest worldwide. Currently a number of companies are beginning to introduce these new-generation nanoscale modified implants into the market for orthopaedic and maxillofacial surgery, and for hard- and soft-tissue engineering. (more…)

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Background

Trauma, degeneration and diseases often make surgical repair or replacement necessary. When a person has a joint pain the main concern is the relief of pain and return to a healthy and functional life style. This usually requires replacement of skeletal parts that include knees, hips, finger joints, elbows, vertebrae, teeth, and repair of the mandible. The worldwide biomaterials market is valued at close to $24,000M. Orthopaedic and dental applications represent approximately 55% of the total biomaterials market. Orthopaedics products worldwide exceeded $13 billion in 2000, an increase of 12 percent over 1999 revenues. Expansion in these areas is expected to continue due to number of factors, including the ageing population, an increasing preference by younger to middle aged candidates to undertake surgery, improvements in the technology and life style, a better understanding of body functionality, improved aesthetics and need for better function. (more…)

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Background

Living learning, self-organising materials systems may sound like an engineer’s dream. But you only have to look down at your own body to see such a system at work. Millions of other systems are out there in the natural world. Mimicking their actions in the human body to aid the restoration of materials made by tissues – or to rehabilitate those who have suffered injuries – using smart prostheses, rapid communication systems and physical aids is a major part of the growing science of biomaterials. (more…)

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Scaffold materials for making matricies for bone tissue engineering include several classes of biomaterials: synthetic polymers, ceramics, native polymers, and composites.

Synthetic Polymers, both organic and inorganic, are used in a wide variety of biomedical applications. The polymers can be biodegradable or nondegradable. Examples of biodegradable polymers include polylactic acid and polyglycolic acid, and copolymers thereof. These FDA-approved polymers are currently used as suture materials, but are also being examined for uses such as bone, skin and liver substitutes. These polymers are broken down in the body hydrolytically to produce lactic acid and glycolic acid, respectively. Other biodegradable polymers currently being studied for tissue engineering applications include polycaprolactone, polyanhydrides, and polyphosphazenes. (more…)

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Background

Biomaterials improve the quality of life for an ever increasing number of people each year. The range of applications is vast and includes such things as joint and limb replacements, artificial arteries and skin, contact lenses, and dentures. While the implementation of these materials may be used for medical reasons such as the replacement of diseased tissues required to extend life expectancies, other reasons may include purely for aesthetic ones including breast implants. This increasing demand arises from an ageing population with higher quality of life expectations. The biomaterials community is producing new and improved implant materials and techniques to meet this demand, but also to aid the treatment of younger patients where the necessary properties are even more demanding. A counter force to this technological push is the increasing level of regulation and the threat of litigation. To meet these conflicting needs it is necessary to have reliable methods of characterisation of the material and material/host tissue interactions. (more…)

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