The Expert Committee Biomaterials sees itself as an interface between basic research and industrial development for materials in contact with biological systems. Increasingly, materials come into contact with "LIFE", which poses special challenges. With its Working Groups, the Expert Committee facilitates and coordinates the exchange among experts to further develop this important discipline. Its Working Groups deal with bioinspired, degradable and antimicrobial biomaterials, dental materials, interfaces, tissue engineering as well as certification, approval, standardization and legal issues arising from the use of biomaterials.
Hip prostheses made of titanium, vascular prostheses made of PET fibers, zirconium oxide joint replacements or composite dental fillings: Biomaterials have long been irreplaceable in modern medical technology. Tailor-made from metal, ceramics, polymers or composite materials, they interact with the body's cells and control the course of diagnostic or therapeutic processes. They are also of central importance in the artificial reconstruction of tissue, the "tissue engineering".
But biomaterials are also present outside medicine, for example in antimicrobial and antiviral materials in traffic systems or food packaging, because interest in the subject of hygiene has increased significantly.
Because of their enormous social and economic importance, innovative biomaterials are of outstanding social interest. In the larger context, their development makes an important contribution to increase the quality of life in a steadily aging society and to maintain vitality and mobility for as long as possible. For this reason, new answers to still unresolved research questions not only help to cope with demographic change, but also contribute to the competitiveness of the medical technology-oriented industries in Germany.
There is still a long way to go before the fundamental processes at the interface between biomaterial and body are fully understood and safely controlled in practice. In addition to extending the service life of implants, the reduction of infections at material interfaces represents a central task for the coming decades.
In the future, it will also be necessary to improve product safety and quality control of implants. In addition, the transfer of bioinspired concepts to implants must be simplified and the path from the idea to the product - which must be produced as cost-effectively as possible - must be significantly shortened. New production techniques such as 3D printing promise innovative solutions here.
In order to network the community in the best possible way and to inform it about the latest developments, the Expert Committee organizes, among other things, the international conference "Euro BioMat" every two years as well as the advanced training course "Biomaterials: Materials in Medicine".