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Abstract

BIOMATERIALS AND BIOCOMPATIBILITY

Suvaneeth P.* and Nair N. D.

ABSTRACT

Biomaterials is a term used to indicate materials that constitute parts of medical implants, extracorporeal devices, and disposables that have been utilized in medicine, surgery, dentistry, and veterinary medicine as well as in every aspect of patient health care. The National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference of November 1982 defined a biomaterial as ‗‗any substance (other than a drug) or combination of substances, synthetic or natural in origin, which can be used for any period of time, as a whole or as a part of a system which treats, augments, or replaces any tissue, organ, or function of the body‘‘ (Boretos and Eden, 1984). The common denominator in all the definitions that have been proposed for ‗‗biomaterials‘‘ is the undisputed recognition that biomaterials are distinct from other classes of materials because of the special biocompatibility criteria they must meet. Biomaterials are devices or materials that are used in the treatment of physiological, anatomical or biochemical disorders which cannot be corrected by other therapies or procedures. They are used for developing body implants or interfaces which interact with the living tissues and physiological systems of the patient for a significant duration. Therefore, the assessment of the overall safety of the device is of importance so as to minimize the risk to the patient treated with the device. The term biocompatibility refers to the interaction between a biomedical device and the tissues of the patient and it depends on several factors like the chemical and physical nature of its components, the types of patient tissue that will be exposed to the device and the duration of that exposure.

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