Skip to content. Skip to main navigation.

Materials for Medical Implant Applications: Current Status, Challenges, and Opportunities

September 13, 2013 | 11:00 AM till Noon
Nedderman Hall Rm 100

Seminar Speaker

Dr. Rena Bizios

Peter T. Flawn Professor Department of Biomedical Engineering UT San Antonio

Refreshments will be served in the meeting room at 10:40 a.m.

Scientists and engineers have contributed products (including implant biomaterials and devices) which, when used in medical care and clinical practice, have saved patient lives and/or improved quality of life. Over the years, specifications for successful such applications have evolved. Recent developments have focused on (and benefitted from) adopting and applying knowledge acquired from advances in the biological sciences, specifically in molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry and physiology. For example, the nanostructures found in nature as well as occurrences observed in the biological world have inspired materials to either promote or prevent interactions with cells and tissues. 

In addition, microorganisms can be programmed at the molecular level to produce “design biomaterials” which are patient specific and thus compatible with the physiological milieu. Overall, exploration of such scientific directions is still new but has untapped potential. As medical care and clinical practice explore new directions of great potential and promise at the nano-, cell- and gene-levels, biomedical engineers and biomaterial scientists cannot afford to fall behind but must move into emerging scientific frontiers. The new challenges necessitate innovative and inspired ways of thinking regarding design and formulation of biomaterials.

Success of such endeavors requires (1) multidisciplinary approaches which involve participation of experts from nontraditional backgrounds (e.g., stem cell biologists) and (2) expansion of the scope of biomaterial specifications to include unconventional design strategies, for example, immuno-compatibility, gene and stem-cell delivery, regeneration of functional tissues, etc. These opportunities have the potential for seminal contributions which will revolutionize the biomaterials and implant devices fields.