The first medical implant was completed in 1958. It was the implant of a pacemaker, and while very simple compared to today’s technology, it was an amazing breakthrough.
Types of Implants in Use
Over the following years, implantable medical devices have become more common and more essential in assisting patients to extend their lives and to enjoy a better quality of life. Today, implants can range from complex devices that include electronics and mechanical systems, such as pacemakers, implanted blood pressure monitors and cochlear implants through to rods, artificial discs, replacement joints or even implants for the eye to correct vision problems.
Each particular category of implantable medical devices is regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and has to meet design and manufacturing standards and successfully complete a range of tests. Each design and device also have to go through a verification process, with all components used in the device fully traceable and meeting the applicable standards.
While the actual materials used in the device have to be safe and approved for use within the human body, there are other concerns with implantable medical devices. Issues with corrosion resistance, battery life, electrical connectivity and even in the ability of the tissue to adhere to the device will all be essential to consider.
With new developments in materials for coating components and with new designs in circuitry and electronic components, testing and approval for devices is more complicated than ever. Working with a medical device contract manufacturer specializing in a particular category of implantable devices will be critical to ensure the best match between components, performance, and safety.
In the future, cutting edge technology will continue to advance the use of medical devices that can assist people in extending their life and improving the quality of life. Research and development continue to be a focus with new options in design and manufacturing of these lifesaving implants.
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