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Williams Dictionary of Biomaterials
by:David F. Williams
There has been a rapid expansion of activity in the area of biomaterials and related medical devices, both in scientific terms and in clinical and commercial applications. The definition of terms has failed to keep pace with the rapidity of these developments and there is considerable confusion over the terminology used in this highly multi- and...
There has been a rapid expansion of activity in the area of biomaterials and related medical devices, both in scientific terms and in clinical and commercial applications. The definition of terms has failed to keep pace with the rapidity of these developments and there is considerable confusion over the terminology used in this highly multi- and inter-disciplinary area. This confusion has arisen partly from the use of inappropriate terms which already have well-defined meanings in their parent disciplines, but which are used inexpertly by those working in other disciplines, and partly from the haphazard generation of new terms for the purpose of defining new phenomena or devices. For example, many terms used in pathology with distinct, if not readily understood, meanings are used by materials scientists to describe biocompatibility phenomena with slightly changed or even wholly misrepresented meanings; similarly, terms from materials science and engineering are seriously misused by biologists and clinicians working in this field. The leading proponent of harmonization and clarity in medical device terminology, Professor D. F. Williams has been influential in setting the standard for the accurate definition of some of the terms used. In particular, the definition of biocompatibility, ‘the Williams definition’, agreed at a 1987 conference has been adopted worldwide. Now, in association with O’Donnell and Associates of Brussels, he has prepared The Williams Dictionary to provide a definitive exposition of the meaning of the terminology used in the area of biomaterials and medical devices. It includes definitions and explanations of more than 2,000 terms from many areas, including biomaterials and medical devices, materials science, biological sciences, and clinical medicine and surgery.
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