AbstractBiomaterial research and tissue engineering are rapidly growing scientific fields that need an interdisciplinary approach where clinicians should be included from the onset. Biocompatibility testing in vitro and in vivo comprise the agarose-overlay test, the MTT test, direct cell seeding tests and the chorioallantoic membrane test for angiogenic effects, among others. Molecular biology techniques such as real-time polymerase chain reaction and microarray technology facilitate the investigation of tissue integration into biomaterials on a cellular and molecular level. The physicochemical characterization of biomaterials is conducted using such methods as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Excellent biocompatibility and biofunctionality were demonstrated for a series of recently developed multifunctional biodegradable, polymeric biomaterials both in vitro and in vivo. Novel, multifunctional polymeric biomaterials offer a highly specific adjustment to the physiological, anatomical and surgical requirements and can thereby facilitate new therapeutic options in head and neck surgery.