A biomaterial is a substance that has been engineered to interact with biological systems for a medical purpose, either a therapeutic (treat, augment, repair, or replace a tissue function of the body) or a diagnostic one. The corresponding field of study, called biomaterials science or biomaterials engineering, is about fifty years old. It has experienced steady and strong growth over its history, with many companies investing large amounts of money into the development of new products. Biomaterials science encompasses elements of medicine, biology, chemistry, tissue engineering and materials science.
Note that a biomaterial is different from a biological material, such as bone, that is produced by a biological system. However, "biomaterial" and "biological material" are often used interchangeably. Further, the word "bioterial" has been proposed as a potential alternate word for biologically-produced materials such as bone, or fungal biocomposites. Additionally, care should be exercised in defining a biomaterial as biocompatible, since it is application-specific. A biomaterial that is biocompatible or suitable for one application may not be biocompatible in another.
Wikipedia contributors. "Biomaterial." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Feb. 21, 2024.
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