Tackling the Concept of Symbiotic Implantable Medical Devices with Nanobiotechnologies
: This review takes an approach to implanted medical devices that considers whether the intention of the implanted device is to have any communication of energy or materials with the body. The first part describes some specific examples of three different classes of implants, analyzed with regards to the type of signal sent to cells. Through several examples, the authors describe that a one way signaling to the body leads to encapsulation or degradation. In most cases, those phenomena do not lead to major problems. However, encapsulation or degradation are critical for new kinds of medical devices capable of duplex communication, which are defined in this review as symbiotic devices. The concept the authors propose is that implanted medical devices that need to be symbiotic with the body also need to be designed with an intended duplex communication of energy and materials with the body. This extends the definition of a biocompatible system to one that requires stable exchange of materials between the implanted device and the body. Having this novel concept in mind will guide research in a new field between medical implant and regenerative medicine to create actual symbiotic devices.