09/02/15 The process of combining technical and biologic components in a medical process or device is called biologization. It is a growing trend in the orthopedic field. In the past, orthopedic implants were mechanical and biological aspects were only considered in the process of attaching the device to the surrounding bone or soft tissue. More recently, biological coating was developed to help the implants to interact with and alter the surrounding biological environment to decrease adverse responses of the surrounding tissue, like implant infection and foreign body reaction. Currently researchers are exploring biological surface coatings and biologized implants that can be individualized by the patient’s own cells, lessening the negative after effects of implants.
Another example of biologization is molecular imaging that focuses on the development of imaging instruments, assays, imaging probes and quantification techniques to explain molecular mechanisms in biology and medicine. Molecular imaging is a non-invasive way to characterize and quantify normal and pathologic processes within the living organism at the cellular and subcellular level. In comparison to the traditional biomedical imaging using microscopy, molecular imaging is more advanced and offers more meaningful results and greater advantages. It can be conducted in vivo, can cross examine the entire body as well as focus on specific regions, and can visualize the specific molecular target in a 3D space. It is also becoming a key bridging technology to translate experimental preclinical findings into the clinical environment.
Last, but not least, biologization is used in tissue engineered and cell-based medical products and is used for the repair, restoration or regeneration of living tissue. The products include tissue, cells, organic and inorganic substances used alone or in combination with other factors that are manufactured, manipulated or altered in a lab. Tissue engineered and cell based medical products can also include substances that are not naturally found in tissues, for example bone graft substitutes and bone growth factors.