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An Overview of the Use of Polymers in Medical Applications as Illustrated by the Design, Characterization, and Application of Tyrosine-Derived Polymers

Elsevier Inc.
DOI: 10.1016/b978-188420760-0.50002-8
  • Biology
  • Design
  • Medicine


Publisher Summary Biomaterials science and medical device development present uniquely gratifying areas of research. The idea that work done in the laboratory today can alleviate human suffering and even save lives tomorrow is a powerful driving force for many of the basic scientists working in the field of biomaterials and medical devices. On the other hand, the commercialization of basic biomaterials research represents a particularly difficult challenge. The chapter presents some of the “opportunities” and “pitfalls” of technology development in the field of biomaterials and medical devices, followed by a discussion of a fundamentally new group of medical implant materials. Biomaterials research as a scientific discipline is a sound, vibrant, and highly interactive field that has, over the last decade, lead to important scientific breakthroughs in our understanding of cell materials interactions. Currently, medical device designers are limited to a relatively small number of off-the-shelf materials that were not originally designed for medical implants. In a recently convened-NIH workshop on “Biomaterials and Medical Device Science”, about 100 of the nation's leading experts reached the conclusion that the materials base of the medical device industry is outdated and that materials and devices endowed with biological structure and function must be designed and developed.

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