Rapid developments are afoot in the field of biomaterials, and are likely to have major effects on patient care soon. But science isn't the only thing defining the pace of progress. The move of modern biomaterials from lab to hospital may seem to be a rapid one, but humans have been augmenting the body with implants for centuries. The evolution of biomaterials from simple embedded devices to more complex functional materials that control biological interactions is examined.
A field such as biomaterials touches on many ethical questions, from sample sources to how advances are deployed into clinical care across the population. For instance, a current research area in biomaterials focuses on how materials properties, such as mechanical elasticity or chemical properties, can influence the differentiation and growth of cells; indeed, this is a common theme for papers within our own pages.