A biomaterial or biocompatible material is a biological or synthetic material that is not rejected by the body when introduced into the body.
Biomaterials are used to make:
- blood vessels (arteries, ...)
- joint replacements
- ligaments and tendons
- vascular grafts
- heart valves
Materials often used
For joints: Titanium is most often used
For bone reconstruction Alginate is often used
For blood vessels: Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), polyethylene terephthalate (Dacron®) and polyurethane are most often used to create artificial blood vessels. They do have a relative stiffness however, and clood clotting is sometimes an issue.(1)
Polyglycolic acid (PGA), PLLA/polylactide-coglycolide (PLGA), polycaprolactone (PCL), type I collagen, and fibrin are being examined as possible alternatives.
Blood vessels can also be made by growing it in a lab from endothelium cells (tissue culture). The blood vessels are then self-constructed and are composed of elastin (2).