Materials that can be introduced into the body
- 9500-1000 B.C.—Sutures and stitches made from animal intestine fiber date back to Neolithic times in Europe.
- 500 B.C.—Gold used in dentistry by Roman, Chinese and Aztec civilisations.
- 600 A.D.—Mayans used blue nacre shell to replace lost teeth.
- 1829—Henry Levert, an Alabaman doctor, tests the biocompatibility of different metals in dogs, finding that platinum is better tolerated than gold, silver or lead.
- 1926—Invention of stainless steel allowed metals to be used regularly in the body for a reasonable cost.
- 1930s—Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is synthesised, from which ‘silicone’ implants were later made.
- Late 1940s—Plastics become readily available after WWII. Their major advantages: they are easy to shape, light and inert.
- 1949—Sir Harold Ridley, uses poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) plastic to create intraocular lenses to treat cataracts.
- 1952—Blood vessel replacement using parachute material left over from WWII.
- 1960s—Charnley’s hip arthroplasty
- 1975—Society for Biomaterials formed, birth of a science.
- 1960s-1980s—Knee replacements, breast implants, stents, heart valve replacements. Materials: Teflon, hydrogels and bioglass.
Stay Tuned: the current advances will be explored in Week 3.
© University of Wollongong, 2018