Polyimides (PIs) represent a benchmark for high-performance polymers on the basis of a remarkable collection of valuable traits and accessible production pathways and therefore have incited serious attention from the ever-demanding medical field. Their characteristics make them suitable for service in hostile environments and purification or sterilization by robust methods, as requested by most biomedical applications. Even if PIs are generally regarded as “biocompatible”, proper analysis and understanding of their biocompatibility and safe use in biological systems deeply needed. This mini-review is designed to encompass some of the most robust available research on the biocompatibility of various commercial or noncommercial PIs and to comprehend their potential in the biomedical area. Therefore, it considers (i) the newest concepts in the field, (ii) the chemical, (iii) physical, or (iv) manufacturing elements of PIs that could affect the subsequent biocompatibility, and, last but not least, (v) in vitro and in vivo biocompatibility assessment and (vi) reachable clinical trials involving defined polyimide structures. The main conclusion is that various PIs have the capacity to accommodate in vivo conditions in which they are able to function for a long time and can be judiciously certified as biocompatible.
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