Biocomposites

Biocomposites contain two or more different phases of materials in which one phase is a continuous phase called matrix (either biopolymer, metal and alloy, or bioceramic), whereas the other is the discontinuous phase. It is the incorporation of fillers in a biocompatible matrix material. Due to the outstanding properties of bioactive compounds, these biocomposites are broadly studied in order to accomplish osteointegration, the direct bonding of implant materials to the bone tissue (Jonge et al., 2008). For example, the biocomposite implant material can be designed by the reinforcement of the biofillers into the polymer matrix producing a polymer biocomposite. Other examples of natural biocomposites are bone and tooth. These biocomposites consist of an organic matrix and minerals, mainly hydroxyapatite, HAP: Cal0(PO4)6(OH)2.

Types of Biocomposites

The types of biocomposites can be categorized according to their reinforcement systems as shown in Figure 5.4. The categories are based on either short fibers, continuous fibers, or particulate (powder) forms of the fillers. All of these reinforcement systems have been used in the development of biocomposites for biomedical applications, such as screws and total hip replacement stems made from short fiber reinforcements, orthopedic bone plates fabricated using unidirectional (UD) laminate

Types of biocomposites based on the reinforcement system

FIGURE 5.4 Types of biocomposites based on the reinforcement system.

or multidirectional tape laminates, and powder reinforced dental biocomposites (Ramakrishna et ah, 2004).

Properties of Biocomposites

Biodegradation, bioactivity, porosity, mechanical, and biocompatibility are the main properties of biocomposite materials required for the replacement of bone and bone defects (Liu, 1997). The most important property of biocomposite that makes it superior to any other class of materials is its persistence in the biological environment without being damaged and while producing no harmful effects with the surroundings (Dorozhkin, 2011b). Figure 5.5 represents the ideal properties of biocomposite materials used in biomedical applications.

Applications of Biocomposites

It is well documented that biocomposite materials have been commonly applied in numerous therapeutic applications, for examples, orthopedic (Cross et al., 2016), mandibular defects (Cho et ah, 2017), cardiovascular (Goyal, 2016), occlusion devices for cardiac defects (Hendow et ah, 2016), dental (Cho et ah, 2017), urological (Goyal, 2016), gastrointestinal (Hendow et ah, 2016), wound healing (Baino, 2011), ophthalmology (Kim & Evans, 2012), orbital implants (Boateng et ah, 2008), orbital floor repair, plastic surgery, drug delivery, and tissue engineering (Singh, 2017). The biocomposites’ performances in the human body can be explained through their types used in human body. The identification of problems is crucial in considering whether the problems are occurring at any organ or body system, as shown in Table 5.5. The role of biocomposite materials is governed by the interaction between the material and the body, specifically the effect of the

Properties and applications of biocomposite materials used as biomedical products

FIGURE 5.5 Properties and applications of biocomposite materials used as biomedical products.

biocomposites on the body and vice versa, the effect of the body environment on the biocomposites (Wong et al„ 2012).

Conclusion

This chapter summarizes recent literature studies of different classes and potentials of biomaterials and biocomposite applications in numerous biomedical fields, which fascinate the attention of biomaterials’ researchers and consultants. Extensive advances in biomaterials have been made since the early days of wooden teeth and gold dental implants, yet there is still significant development ahead. In the past, implementation of industrial biocomposites for biological applications was never proposed. Biocomposite materials have been established considerably over the last era. However, nowadays, biocomposites are being advanced to exactly interrelate through living tissue in body tissue restoration, regeneration, as well as replacement. Bioceramics and their composites are used as biological grafts due to their biocompatibility. Synthetic and natural biopolymers and their composites have been extensively utilized in biomedical fields due to their significant biocompatibility and biodegradability. In addition, metals and alloys are used as biomaterials and biocomposites because of their excellent mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties. In this chapter, an attempt has been made to increase the understanding on the utilization of biomaterials and biocomposites in therapeutic and biomedical fields.

TABLE 5.5

Biocomposite Materials' Performance in the Human Body (Ramakrishna et alv 2004)

Uses of Biocomposite Materials

Biocomposite Materials in Organs

Biocomposite Materials in Body Systems

Problem Area

Examples

Organ

Examples

System

Examples

Replacement of diseased or damaged part

Kidney dialysis machine and artificial hip joint

Heart

Cardiac pacemaker, artificial heart valve.total artificial heart

Skeletal

Bone plate and total joint replacements

Assist in healing

Bone plates, sutures, and screws

Lungs

Oxygenator

machine

Muscular

Sutures, muscle stimulator

Improve

function

Cardiac pacemaker and intraocular lens

Eye

Contact lens, intraocular lens

Respiratory'

Oxygenator

machine

Correct

functional

abnormality

Cardiac pacemaker

Ear

Artificial stapes, cochlea implant

Endocrine

Microencapsulated pancreatic islet cells

Correct

cosmetic

problem

Chin augmentation and mammoplasty

Bone

Kidney, bone plate, intramedullary rod

Urinary'

Catheters, stent, kidney dialysis machine

Aid to diagnosis

Probes and catheters

Kidney

Kidney dialysis machine

Nervous

Hydrocephalus drain, cardiac pacemaker, пен е stimulator

Aid to treatment

Catheters and drains

Bladder

Catheter and stent

Reproductive

Cosmetic replacements and augmentation mammoplasty

 
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