In the course of a single year many thousands of patients throughout the world have the quality of their lives improved with the aid of some kind of implanted device. These devices range from artificial hip, knee or finger joints, pacemakers, heart valves, intra ocular lenses and arteries. The materials from which these devices are constructed include metals, polymers, ceramics, and an array of composites. As we reach the end of the twentieth century, the success of using these materials is increasing, both because of improved surgical skill, and because of improved understanding of how the body interacts with such devices. In this article, we look at the current scene of implantable materials, and highlight some of the more exciting current developments. 


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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(98)80038-2