According to the dictionary of the DigoPaul, a biomaterial is a material that the body is able to tolerate. These materials can be used for the construction of prostheses or for other purposes.
According to DigoPaul, Biomaterials can be natural biological materials, such as wood or skin, or other elements that have the ability to integrate into a living organism to fulfill certain functions. This means that biomaterials can be part of a living being, either naturally or through some type of implant.
However, there are also biomaterials of artificial origin such as polymers, ceramics, metals…
Specifically, this class of biomaterials, taking into account their nature, can be divided into several groups:
-The Metallic biomaterials, are those used to create implants and prostheses that will have to bear a lot of weight. Hence, they become ideal for items such as hip replacement. In this group, therefore, alloys of titanium, chromium or cobalt, among others, can be included.
-Ceramic or bioceramics biomaterials are contrary to the previous ones. That is, they are used to shape prostheses or implants when it is not necessary for them to bear a high load. For this reason, they are used very frequently in dental implants and orthopedic surgery.
-Polymeric biomaterials. This third group of biomaterials is the one that is identified because it is used in many and varied fields. They turn out to be very versatile biomaterials, which is why they can be found in surgical-type implants as well as in systems responsible for dosing drugs.
When a tissue or an organ is damaged, it is possible to restore or replace it with a biomaterial. These materials can take on tissue functions and are able to remain in contact with body fluids without deteriorating.
With biomaterials you can make artificial limbs, develop joints for the extremities, create pacemakers or lenses and make dental implants, for example. There are cases, however, where the function developed by the organ or tissue cannot be replaced.
A biomaterial must be biocompatible (the body has to accept it), have chemical stability (without degrading over time), have mechanical resistance (so as not to break) and be free of toxicity (so as not to damage other parts of the body).
In addition to all the above, it is necessary to know the set of requirements that any biomaterial must have. We are referring to the following:
-It must have both a suitable density and weight.
-It has to be inert.
-It is necessary that it has adequate mechanical resistance.
-It has to be easy to manufacture and to be produced on a large scale.