chapter  6
26 Pages

Natural Fiber Composites in Biomedical and Bioengineering Applications

ByKaren Hoi-yan Cheung

Bioengineering refers to the application of concepts and methods of the physical sciences and mathematics in an engineering approach towards solving problems in repair and reconstruction of lost, damaged, or deceased tissues [1]. Any material that is used for this purpose can be regarded as a biomaterial. According to Williams (1986), biomaterial is a material used in implants or medical devices and intended to interact with biological systems [2]. The most common types of medical devices include substitute heart valves and artiŒcial hearts, artiŒcial hip and knee joints, dental implants, internal and external fracture Œxators and skin repair templates. The development of biomaterial that is suitable to be used in a human body with such a complicated biological and sensitive system is a great challenge to all scientists. There are various kinds of biomaterials with different characteristics, structures, and material properties, but all these materials must fulŒll the requirements of being a viable implant. They

CONTENTS

6.1 Development of Biomaterials ...................................................................283 6.2 Biodegradable Polymers ...........................................................................288