According to the National Center for Health Statistics, an estimated 11 million Americans had at least one medical device implant in 19881 . This number has undoubtedly increased since 1988, and will probably continue to do so, due to increased longevity and advances in implant technology. In many medical applications, an ideal implant would quickly integrate with a patient's tissue and maintain close proximity to the tissue over time, thereby avoiding clinical problems such as loosening of the implant, pain, destruction of tissue near the implant site, and subsequent (painful and costly) revision surgery. 

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(00)80003-6