Biomaterials in Drug Delivery
A biomaterial is any substance that has been engineered to interact with biological systems for a medical purpose - either a therapeutic (treat, augment, repair or replace a tissue function of the body) or a diagnostic one. Biomaterials conferences can be derived either from nature or synthesized in the laboratory using a variety of chemical approaches utilizing metallic components, polymers, ceramics or composite materials. They are often used and/or adapted for a medical application, and thus comprise whole or part of a living structure or biomedical device which performs, augments, or replaces a natural function. Such functions may be benign, like being used for a heart valve, or may be bioactive with a more interactive functionality such as hydroxy-apatite coated hip implants. Biomaterials are also used every day in dental applications, surgery, and drug delivery. For example, a construct with impregnated pharmaceutical products can be placed into the body, which permits the prolonged release of a drug over an extended period of time. A biomaterial may also be an autograft, allograft or xenograft used as a transplant material.