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Toxicol Pathol. 2008 Jan;36(1):70-80. doi: 10.1177/0192623307310949.

Biocompatibility: meeting a key functional requirement of next-generation medical devices.

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Medical Devices, Biomaterials, Drug Delivery, and Nanotechnology, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609, USA.


The array of polymeric, biologic, metallic, and ceramic biomaterials will be reviewed with respect to their biocompatibility, which has traditionally been viewed as a requirement to develop a safe medical device. With the emergence of combination products, a paradigm shift is occurring that now requires biocompatibility to be designed into the device. In fact, next-generation medical devices will require enhanced biocompatibility by using, for example, pharmacological agents, bioactive coatings, nano-textures, or hybrid systems containing cells that control biologic interactions to have desirable biologic outcomes. The concept of biocompatibility is moving from a "do no harm" mission (i.e., nontoxic, nonantigenic, nonmutagenic, etc.) to one of doing "good," that is, encouraging positive healing responses. These new devices will promote the formation of normal healthy tissue as well as the integration of the device into adjacent tissue. In some contexts, biocompatibility can become a disruptive technology that can change therapeutic paradigms (e.g., drug-coated stents). New database tools to access biocompatibility data of the materials of construction in existing medical devices will facilitate the use of existing and new biomaterials for new medical device designs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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