Biocompatibility

 

Biocompatibility is related to the behavior of biomaterials and in that it is a peculiar word because it would seem that are at least two opposing uses of the same term. One is more related with statements on low level of immune response of a specific material without specifying where the medical device is used. The other relates more to the clinical success of the whole device of in which a specific biomaterial is part or its whole. So over time there have been some attempts at defining this term. The two more commonly referred to definitions are those of Prof. Williams and that in Dorland's Medical Dictionary. These definitions also reflect the evolution of insights into how biomaterials interact with the human body and eventually how those interactions determine the clinical success of a medical device (such as pacemaker, hip replacement or stent). Nowadays any medical device would be made of more than one material so it might not always be very clear to talk about the biocompatibility of a specific material.

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1. The ability of a material to perform with an appropriate host response in a specific application. - Williams' definition.

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