This book enables readers without specialist knowledge to understand the ways in which materials can be used to enhance people's lives. The range is vast from simple contact uses, through artificial limbs, to permanently implanted devices.
To appreciate the medical applications of materials, it is necessary to understand why they are used. Therefore, a discussion on the nature and behaviour of materials is preceded by a survey of the evolution of modern surgical techniques. The effect of "foreign" materials on the body's immune system is then considered, followed by a study of specific uses of materials, including extra-corporeal machines and implanted devices.
The last chapter deals with new and highly sophisticated techniques including minimal access surgery, robotics, nanotechnology, natural polymers, and the growth of "artificial" organs and concludes with a look at the future.