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Silicone‐based biomaterials for biomedical applications: Antimicrobial strategies and 3D printing technologies

Zare, Mina and Ghomi, Erfan Rezvani and Venkatraman, Prabhuraj D and Ramakrishna, Seeram (2021) Silicone‐based biomaterials for biomedical applications: Antimicrobial strategies and 3D printing technologies. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. ISSN 0021-8995

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Abstract

Silicone is a synthetic polymer widely used in the biomedical industry as implantable devices since 1940, owing to its excellent mechanical properties and biocompatibility. Silicone biomaterials are renowned for their biocompatibility due to their inert nature and hydrophobic surface. A timeline illustration shows critical development periods of using silicone in varied biomedical applications. In this review, silicone properties are discussed along with several biomedical applications, including medical inserts, speciality contact lenses, drains and shunts, urinary catheters, reconstructive gel fillers, craniofacial prosthesis, nerve conduits, and metatarsophalangeal joint implants. Silicones are prone to microbial infections when exposed and interactions with the host tissue. As in the case of medical inserts, the development of specific antimicrobial strategies is essential. The review highlights silicone implants' interaction with soft and bone tissue and various antimicrobial strategies, including surface coating, physical or chemical modifications, treating with antibiotics or plasma-activated surfaces to develop the resistance to bacterial infection. Finally, 3D printing technology, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine applications, and future trends are also critically presented, indicating the silicone's potential as a biomaterial.

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