As research has been completed, textiles have found their way into a variety of medical applications. In addition to protective medical apparel, textiles in fibre and fabric form are used as implants, filters and surgical dressings.Recent decades have witnessed major development in medical textile production, the materials they are made of the and the technology used to produce them. Biomedical implants are used to aid or replace damaged tissues or organs. These materials are used in affecting repair to the body whether it is wound closure (sutures) or replacement surgery (vascular grafts or artificial ligaments).
Although the natural way to replace a defective body part would be transplantation, this is always not possible due to many reasons. Therefore, physicians use an artificial substitute (biomaterials) such as biotextiles. A foreign / synthetic material or part used to replace a body part is referred to as prosthesis, whereas most people are familiar with artificial knees or hips.
The main attribute of a biomedical textile is that it should fulfill the purpose for which it was designed. For example, sutures may require a biodegradable textile.
An artificial ligament is permanent and is able to react more with blood cells and the surrounding tissues, compared to an external bandage which is temporary and only contacts the outer skin tissue. An implantable device should be biocompatible. Biocompatibility testing evaluates the response of the host system to the medical textile. Results of this testing must be viewed along with the benefits of this device.