Role of Biomaterials in Modern Medicine

Biomaterials play an important role in the field of medicine today by restoring function and supporting recovery for those who have been injured or ill.

Biomaterials, which can be natural or synthetic, are utilized in different healthcare applications to sustain, improve, or replace damaged muscle tissue or support any damaged biological functions.

The field has evolved dramatically in the last decade because of the advancements in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and other areas.

According to BIS Research, the global biomaterials market was valued at $122.92 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $725.88 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 17.98% between 2021 and 2031.

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Classification of Biomaterials

Biomaterials can be classified into the following:

Natural Biomaterials: Natural biomaterials include protein-based biomaterials (collagen, silk fibroin, gelatin, fibronectin, keratin, fibrin, and eggshell membrane) and polysaccharide-based biomaterials (hyaluronan, cellulose, glucose, alginate, chondroitin, and chitin and its derivative, chitosan).

Natural Biomaterials

These are promising subsets of biomaterials used in tissue engineering because of their bioactivity, biocompatibility, tuneable degradation and mechanical kinetics, and their intrinsic structural resemblance to native tissue electronic claims management (ECM).

They also facilitate cell adhesion, proliferation, differentiation, and function by promoting biological identification. Protein-based biomaterials are derived from animal and human sources and contain bioactive molecules that simulate the extracellular environment.

Synthetic Biomaterials: Synthetic biomaterials are widely used as matrices and templates in biomedical engineering and bioengineering to mimic human ECM systems, which control or stimulate the functions of the biomaterials.

These synthetic polymers have nontoxic degradation products (lactic acid and glycolic acid) and were created through simple chemical hydrolysis of the polymers, which were then swept away by regular metabolic routes.

These materials have a strong tensile strength, simple mechanical modulus, and slow degradation qualities that can be applied to specific applications by adjusting the lactide/glycolide ratio and polymerization conditions.

They are utilized with a motive to replace urethral tissue and bladder tissue in patients with idiopathic detrusor or neurogenic bladder. Due to a lack of biologically functioning domains, they do not elicit an immunological response.

However, some synthetic polymer templates integrate physiologically functioning regions to create biomimetic scaffolds. For example, collagen or serum coating and the synthetic polymeric scaffold enable early cell adhesion and ECM deposition, whereas ceramic (calcium phosphate) and coating synthetic polymeric scaffolds perform well for bone tissue engineering.

With the help of an image, some common biomaterials (both natural and synthetic) for use in tissue engineering (TE) are presented below.

Synthetic Biomaterials

How are Biomaterials Employed in Modern Medicine?

Biomaterials are used by doctors, researchers, and bioengineers for various purposes, including,

Medical Implants: They include heart valves, stents, grafts, artificial joints, ligaments, tendons, hearing aids implants, dental implants, and nerve stimulation devices.

Medical Implants

Healing Tissues: Sutures, clips, staples for wound closure, and dissolvable dressings are all methods for promoting human tissue healing.

Regenerating Human Tissues: Human tissues have been regenerated utilizing a combination of biomaterial scaffolds, cells, and bioactive chemicals. A bone regenerating hydrogel and a lab-grown human bladder are two examples.

Biosensors: They are used to detect and transmit the presence and amount of certain chemicals. Blood glucose monitors and brain activity monitors are two examples.

Drug-Delivery Systems: They deliver or apply medications to a disease target. Drug-coated vascular stents and implantable chemotherapy wafers for cancer patients are two examples.

To conclude

A biomaterial is any natural or synthetic material that is continuously or intermittently in contact with the human body and is used to replace or restore function to biological tissue.

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