Biocompatibility of biomaterials - Lessons learned and considerations for the design of novel materials

Schmalz, Gottfried Hans; Galler, Kerstin M (2017). Biocompatibility of biomaterials - Lessons learned and considerations for the design of novel materials. Dental materials, 33(4), pp. 382-393. Elsevier 10.1016/

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OBJECTIVES Biocompatibility of dental materials has gained increasing interest during recent decades. Meanwhile, legal regulations and standard test procedures are available to evaluate biocompatibility. Herein, these developments will be exemplarily outlined and some considerations for the development of novel materials will be provided. METHODS Different aspects including test selection, release of substances, barriers, tissue healing, antibacterial substances, nanoparticles and environmental aspects will be covered. The provided information is mainly based on a review of the relevant literature in international peer reviewed journals, on regulatory documents and on ISO standards. RESULTS Today, a structured and systematic approach for demonstrating biocompatibility from both a scientific and regulatory point of view is based on a clinical risk assessment in an early stage of material development. This includes the analysis of eluted substances and relevant barriers like dentin or epithelium. ISO standards 14971, 10993, and 7405 specify the modes for clinical risk assessment, test selection and test performance. In contact with breached tissues, materials must not impair the healing process. Antibacterial effects should be based on timely controllable substances or on repellant surfaces. Nanoparticles are produced by intraoral grinding irrespective of the content of nanoparticles in the material, but apparently at low concentrations. Concerns regarding environmental aspects of mercury from amalgam can be met by amalgam separating devices. The status for other materials (e.g. bisphenol-A in resin composites) needs to be evaluated. Finally, the public interest for biocompatibility issues calls for a suitable strategy of risk communication. SIGNIFICANCE A wise use of the new tools, especially the clinical risk assessment should aim at preventing the patients, professionals and the environment from harm but should not block the development of novel materials. However, biocompatibility must always be weighed against the beneficial effects of materials in curing/preventing oral diseases.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Medicine > Department of Preventive, Restorative and Pediatric Dentistry

UniBE Contributor:

Schmalz, Gottfried Hans


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Hendrik Meyer-Lückel

Date Deposited:

23 Jul 2019 15:38

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 06:37

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Antibacterial subtances Clinical risk assessment Dentin barrier test Pulp healing




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