What are Advanced Materials?
Advanced materials have unique physical or chemical properties that make them highly suited to particular applications. In the area of bionics, our advanced materials can interact safely with biological systems while inducing minimal undesired bio-response. They are commonly used for medical applications to augment or replace natural function, for example in a passive artificial meniscus or an active neural interface. The goal of these materials is to integrate seamlessly with the body, avoiding any compatibility issues or immune responses, such as scar tissue formation, which can negatively effect the performance of a device over time. They can be hard, like ceramic bone-fillers, or soft and pliable, like hydrogel coatings for implants. They cover a wide range of applications, from orthopedic implants to skin grafts, and a similarly wide range of materials, from ceramics to polymers to engineered tissues.
Advanced materials bridge the gap between engineered devices and human tissues and the field of bionics is dependent on these materials to realistically apply breakthroughs in areas like brain machine interfaces, prosthetic limbs, surgical implants, and many others.