According to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE ), a biomaterial is a material that the organism is able to tolerate . These materials can be used for the construction of prostheses or for other purposes.
Biomaterials can be natural biological materials , as the wood wave 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 metal biomaterials are those used to create implants and prostheses that will have to bear a lot of weight. Hence, they become ideal for elements such as hip prostheses. This group can therefore include titanium, chromium or cobalt alloys, among others.
-The ceramic or bioceramic biomaterials are contrary to the previous ones. That is, they are used to shape prostheses or implants when they do not need to bear a high load. For this reason, they are very frequently used 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, so they can be found in surgical-type implants as well as in systems responsible for dosing medications.
When a tissue or a organ are damaged, it is possible to restore them or replace them with a biomaterial. These materials can assume tissue functions and are able to remain in contact with body fluids without deteriorating.
With biomaterials they can be manufactured artificial limbs develop unions for the limbs, create pacemaker or lenses and manufacture dental implants, for example. There are cases, anyway, where the function developed by the organ or the tissue It cannot be replaced.
A biomaterial must be biocompatible (the body has to accept it), have chemical stability (without degrading over time), count on mechanical strength (not to break) and lack toxicity (so as not to damage other parts of the body ).
In addition to all of the above, it is necessary to know the set of requirements that any biomaterial must have. We are referring to the following:
-You must have both adequate density and weight.
-It has to be inert.
-You need to have adequate mechanical resistance.
-It has to be easy to manufacture and produce on a large scale.