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A biomaterial is defined as a substance that has been engineered to take a form which, alone or as part of a complex system, is used to direct, by control of interactions with components of living systems, the course of any therapeutic or diagnostic procedure.
There is a wide range of physical, biological and chemical sciences that underpin the design of biomaterials and related clinical disciplines - polymer synthesis and characterization; drug and gene vector design; the biology of the host response; immunology and toxicology and self assembly at the nanoscale.
Clinical applications include the therapies of medical technology and regenerative medicine in all clinical disciplines, and diagnostic systems that reply on innovative contrast and sensing agents. Biomaterials impact on cancer diagnosis and therapy, implantable devices, drug delivery systems, gene vectors, bionanotechnology and tissue engineering.