Introduction to Biomaterials: Basic Theory with Engineering Applications by C. Mauli Agrawal, Joo L. Ong, Mark R. Appleford and Gopinath Mani
ISBN 0521116902 – 419 pages $72 on Amazon Published December 16, 2013 Cambridge University Press
This was one of the books for my Biomaterials class and it is one of the best undergrad level texts I have reviewed in a long time. The unanimous 5 star reviews on Amazon so far appear to show agreement from other students and reviewers.
The overall organization, balance and layout of the information is close to perfect, though I probably would have rearranged the chapter sequence slightly which is a small quibble. It is relatively easy to read given the concepts presented, but a previous education in materials science, organic chemistry and human / cell physiology is very helpful for putting it all together.
There is an abundance of well-done illustrations, photos, tables and diagrams which make this complex and interdisciplinary subject very accessible and this is the sort of text I wish I had as a kid. What is particularly strong and useful about this text is that they not only walk the reader through the fundamentals, but also cover a number of adjacent subjects such as characterization, surface modification, biological systems, implant sterilization, and even natural biomaterials such as collagen, alginate, silk and coral.
As for the math, there are some formulas given, and while there are other books devoted to materials science, I wish this book had gone into more detail and had back of the envelope worked examples that more fully explored the numbers behind mechanical and chemical properties. But then again, the very title of this book states that it is only a basic theory book and focuses more on applications, so it delivers what it says and very well at that.
Cutting edge topics such as tissue engineering and the role of 3D printers is also touched on, so on the whole, you get a lot for a sub-$100 book.