Biomaterials – any matter, surface, or construct that interacts with biological systems. Biomaterials science encompasses elements of medicine, biology, chemistry, tissue engineering and materials science.

  • Polyanhydrides were developed to meet the erosion requirements of drug delivering applications.

3-D printing of tissues

  • Biolinks – To print living tissue, the inks must contain live cells. Engineers refer to such materials as bioinks. And these inks are special because they must essentially cradle their soft and fragile bricks — here, living cells — as they are released to build a tissue. For 3-D printing of tissues to become practical, engineers need to know how bioinks will behave in printers. Huang’s team has just conducted some tests to find out. The team worked with what is known as a “drop-on-demand” inkjet printer. Computer instructions tell the printer to push out ink one drop at a time.

What’s the problem?
Biomaterials for the 21st Century (video 17:51) – better biomaterials for surgery, origin of some surgical materials and explores their limits. Dozens of engineering innovations in materials are used in surgery and treatment.
That’s engineering

  • limits – maximum and minimum – the largest and smallest value that the function takes at a given point.
  • molecule – smallest physical unit of an element/compound (with one or more atoms in an element)
  • polymer – a molecule, made from joining together many small molecules called monomers. Some polymers are natural. Proteins have polypeptide molecules, which are natural polymers made from various amino acid monomer units. Nucleic acids are huge natural polymers made up of millions of nucleotide units. Cellulose and starch (two types of carbohydrate) are also natural polymers made up of glucopyranose monomer bonded together in different ways.

Engineering ideas

  • tissue, drug administration, polymers, limits, protein, nucleic acid

Do it
Now it is your turn. Here are some challenges for you to work on…

  • Find some examples of biomaterials. These can be naturally or occurring, or ones that engineers and scientists have developed.

News, updates

  • Seven life-changing surgeries made possible by 3D printing – 3D printing is already having a real-life impact. Its capacity to produce customized implants and medical devices tailored specifically to a patient’s anatomy has seen it open up all kinds of possibilities in the field of medicine, with the year 2014 having turned u