Clinical treatment modalities have undergone very significant changes over the past 30 years, in part because of the development of new or improved synthetic substances (biomaterials) for the replacement of tissues. Most all aspects of medical care have been directly influenced. It is now possible to obtain biomaterials made from basic metallic, ceramic, carbonitic, or polymeric materials where the substance has been manufactured for a specific biomedical application. In past years, this was not possible and available industrial grade materials were often adapted or modified to accommodate applications in biological environments. These developments, along with the many other advances in both biomedical sciences and clinical applications, have provided an exciting situation with regard to the improvement of existing prostheses and materials or the development of new biomaterials for surgical implant devices. This presentation will summarize eight areas where defined needs for active biomaterials research continues, following an outline theme of: (1) the current clinical situation; (2) specific area of need; and (3) possible improvements through basic science and clinical research.
This thematic presentation will consider the following general areas: (1) the minimization of interfacial wear and implant biodegradation with examples of total joint replacements and occlusal surfaces of teeth; (2) adhesives for soft and hard tissues with examples of total joint replacements, cements, cardiovascular and plastic surgery reconstructions; (3) percutaneous devices for orthopaedic, dental, cardiovascular, and general surgery; (4) bone and skin replacements for the treatment of major bone lesions and burns; (5) ligaments and tendons for joint and hand reconstructions; (6) spinal instruments for orthopaedic procedures; (7) conduits of various diameters for general and cardiovascular applications; and (8) valves for cardiovascular and urological procedures.