Novel Polyisobutylene-Based Thermoplastic Elastomers in Medical Applications
The required properties of any material used for replacement or repair of various organs and other parts of a body (referred to as a biomaterial) are in general biocompatibility, sterilizability, adequate physical and mechanical properties as well as a good processability for the ease of manufacture. Biocompatibility is defined as the ability of a material to perform with an appropriate host response in a specific application. For a satisfactory function, the material must resist the biodegradation in the body that generally involves various combinations of oxidative, acidic, hydrolytic and enzymatic processes. Polymers have been used in such applications for a long time with relatively good results. Polymeric materials with well-established performance as biomaterials are polyesters, fluoropolymers, polypropylene, polyurethanes and silicones. Recent developments in polymer synthesis have produced polymers with exceptional properties as biomaterials. These novel polyisobutylene-based thermoplastic elastomers were developed as prospective implant materials mainly for soft tissue replacement and reconstruction. This review covers mainly their already well established applications as well as those, which are under development.