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Biodegradable

Biodegradability refers to the ability of a material to be decomposed into harmless products by bacteria or other living things.

 

In medicine, the use of biodegradable products can provide for temporary support while the surrounding tissue heals without the need to remove or retrieve the product after the fact. For example, biodegradable sutures can allow doctors to stitch tissue together wounds without the need for patients to go back and have the stitches removed.

In tissue engineering, the property of being biodegradable is generally considered an important factor in design. An ideal scaffold that supports cells long enough for the cells to secrete their own supporting structures (ECM) while safely degrading at the same rate that tissue formation.  

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