Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Smart Biomaterials for Self-Adjusting Implants

There is a need to leverage ongoing research on active materials (e.g., self-regenerating body armor, insulin-releasing polymers that respond to glucose, etc.) to stimulate the invention of new materials and constructs that are electrically, chemically and mechanically active to enable self-adjusting bioengineered implants.

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Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Enable development of self-correcting implants that can adapt to changing or evolving in-vivo conditions

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

We can leverage development efforts of smart and active materials from other fields (such as self-regenerating body armor and artificial pancreas efforts).

Living systems are dynamic, and interventions administered at one time point may often lose effectiveness over time. One can envision cardiac implants that sense and change electrical conductivity in response to atrial fibrillation, or engineered heart valves that continually modulate mechanical properties to compensate for gradual calcification or ventricular remodeling. The challenge is to inform and attract expertise in micro and nanoengineering

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Idea No. 275