Reviewed by Elżbieta Pamuła
EP Ivanova, K Bazaka, and RJ Crawford eds.
The book is a comprehensive overview of recent advances in the area of biomaterials for medicine and healthcare. The book is divided into eight chapters, in which the authors focus on particular classes of biomaterials. As a result, in the author’s own words, it is rather a material-orientated than application-orientated approach.
The first chapter is a good introduction to the principles of design of biomaterials and implantable devices, in which important issues such as device-associated infections are reviewed.
Chapter two describes typical and reputable polymer biomaterials of natural origin and reports on novel approaches in drug delivery (viral particles, bacteriophage capsids, immunocytes as “Trojan horses”). Recent topics on chimeric protein-based biomaterials synthesized through recombinant DNA-technology are also reviewed.
Chapters three and four are dedicated to advanced synthetic polymer biomaterials derived from organic and inorganic sources, respectively. Although organic polymers are broadly reviewed in literature, the inorganic ones seem to be of particular interest, because of their excellent physicochemical and biological properties, controlled biodegradation and potential applications in such areas as implants, drug delivery system design and bioimaging applications.
In chapter five the most commonly used metallic biomaterials are reviewed (including those with shape memory behaviour and Mg-based degradable devices), while in chapter six cytotoxicity and biocompatibility issues of metallic biomaterials are described. The latter chapter will probably be well appreciated by the readers, because it summarizes several issues dealing with failure or success of metallic devices in clinical practice. These include e.g. macrophage-mediated inflammation, osteoclast-mediated bone resorption, osteolysis and the role of bacterial endotoxins in triggering metal particle-induced inflammatory response. All these phenomena are well illustrated by schematic diagrams and illustrations which provide the readers with insight into the most important relationships and biochemical pathways.
The final two chapters, i.e. seven and eight, deal with bioinert and bioactive/biodegradable ceramic biomaterials, respectively. While alumina-, zirconia-, and titania-based ceramics are widely reviewed in chapter seven, no information is provided about pyrolytic carbon, although the authors mention this reputable biomaterial in the abstract. Chapter eight is another good example of a well written, profound overview of bioactive and biodegradable ceramics based on the latest findings described in recent literature.
In general, in the book the authors report the most relevant and latest findings in the field of biomaterial applications. It is worth noting that the vast majority of the literature cited was published within the last five years. Thus, the book is a good choice for all who are looking for reliable data dealing with contemporary trends in design and applications of biomaterials.
Department of Biomaterials, AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland