MEDICAL IMPLANTS are being used in every organ of the human body. Ideally, medical implants must have biomechanical properties comparable to those of autogenous tissues without any adverse effects. In each anatomic site, studies of the long-term effects of medical implants must be undertaken to determine accurately the safety and performance of the implants. Today, implant surgery has become an interdisciplinary undertaking involving a number of skilled and gifted specialists. For example, successful cochlear implants will involve audiologists, audiological physicians, speech and language therapists, otolaryngologists, nurses, neuro-otologists, teachers of the deaf, hearing therapists, cochlear implant manufacturers, and others involved with hearing-impaired and deaf individuals. A similar list of specialists can be identified for each implant site, from dentistry to cardiovascular surgery. Consequently, scholarly work from all disciplines involved in implants is welcome.
Realizing the interdisciplinary components of successful implant programs, we have considerably expanded the number of members of the Editorial Board. These gifted scholars are recognized as leaders in the field of implants. Each member has been listed with careful identification of academic title, institution, and mailing addresses. Because the ultimate success of implants depends on daily interactive communication, the email addresses of each Editorial Board member has been listed. During the next year, we will announce the names of 35 distinguished scholars from across the world who will be joining our Editorial Board. This new scholarly team will provide conceptual scientific information on implants that will further strengthen the exciting scientific information in this journal.
The ability to predict the long-term in vivo performance of medical implants is of vital interest. The extrapolation of in vitro data to the in vivo environment remains largely unproven. Among the major challenges are our limited ability to simulate the complexities of the biological milieu; the current lack of reliable computer modeling of in vivo performance characteristics of implants; and difficulties in evaluating the synergistic contributions of materials, design features, and therapeutic drug regimens.
The aims of the Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants are a better understanding of the mechanisms of failure of preclinically tested medical implants during long-term in vivo service life, both in appropriate animal models and in humans; and establishing an effective linkage between preclinical and clinical studies. Of particular interest are original, critical analyses of data of retrieved implants, interpretive discussions of data based on invasive and noninvasive procedures, and computer modeling of in vivo performance. Also of interest are articles on healthcare technology assessment involving implants and their social impact and economic consequences. The journal will also publish guest editorials, letters to the Editor, and book reviews. All articles are subject to peer review by at least two referees.