Medical implants are artificial substitutes for body parts, and materials brought into the body for functional, cosmetic, or therapeutic purposes, either permanently or removed once they are no longer needed. Prostheses can be either functional (artificial arms and legs) or aesthetic/cosmetic (artificial eye). Implants, however, tend to be used therapeutically (to heal) and are made of metal, plastic, ceramic, and even body tissues (skin, bone, etc.).
Although the implant industry has recently developed quickly, there are still no ideal devices to replace or repair bones damaged by trauma and diseases. Moreover, the human body is a very corrosive medium for implanted materials and no ideal biomaterial was invented yet to eliminate the processes occurring at the interaction with the living organism.
To readily fulfill their mission (maintain, assist or restore a person’s mobility) implants have to fit as much as possible to the patient’s unique body and be quickly tolerated.