We are proposing to launch a series of two meetings on the subject of the Degradation of Biomaterials. At this stage only funding for the first meeting is being requested. However, reference is made to the second event in order to provide assessors with an overview of the project. The objectives of the proposed events are to determine, assess and understand by multi- and inter-disciplinary collaboration the processes of degradation of medical devices. Released degradation products and their metabolites are the most important reasons of biological reactions and health hazards. On the other hand, this behaviour can positively be exploited by the development of specific materials to be replaced by normal soft or hard tissue during a specific degradation period and/or to release during this period active components, such as active molecules, enzymes, biotica or growth factors. The assessments and understanding of the accidental or wanted degradation processes are necessary to improve by physical, chemical alld biological technology existing materials to prevent accidental degradation and to develop new materials with activating compounds and tailored for drug delivery. Single-component medical devices become less frequent, contact between different materials is mostly unavoidable and there is a significant increase of the use of multi-material and composite devices with improved biofunctionality.
The relation between the individual events is subsequently respected by the need of multi-and interdisciplinary co-operation and the requirement of multiple material families. In this way, the proposed series will have an evolutive character starting from basic materials and evolving via modern but nevertheless still problematic materials such as ceramics and polymers and their combinations and composites to active biodevices for improved tissue integration, for temporary tissue replacement and for controlled drug delivery. The purpose of this project is to report, promote and review the state-of-the-art and progress of currently available information regarding the multi- alld inter-disciplinary aspects in terms of possible health hazards resulting in the clinical exposure, to identify priorities for research, and to stimulate development of preventive measures and industrial technology.