Bioware is a class of cybernetic enhancements that are based on human anatomy and physiology rather than electronics or mechanics. Bioware can have some non-organic components. But the enhancement itself is improving a biological function, rather than replacing the biological component with technology.
Bioware is often preferred to cybernetics for a number of reasons. It has little impact on appearance (this is not just about vanity, it is also a matter of stealth; maybe you do not want people knowing you are enhanced). There are fewer possible complications because it is enhancing functions that are already present naturally. And a lot of people have problems with cyberware for one reason or another (religion for example).
Nanotech is the basis of most forms of bioware. And you can stack all forms of bioware with each other. It is possible for a single person to have all enhancements listed below at the same time.
This is a modern version of Plastic Surgery. Plastic surgery in the modern world has advanced to the point where it is almost trivial to make someone look like whatever they want. Bones, muscle, and organs can be shifted around fairly easily and skin of any type grafted (including animal skin, fur, feathers, etc), creating whatever look you want. Higher quality work is more expensive, but biosculpting is cheap enough that even average people can often afford it. Many gangs (especially posergangs) make extensive use of biosculpting. People who are extensively biosculpted are often referred to as Exotics.
Other common examples of Bioware
Grafted Muscle: This is vat-grown organic muscle. It functions identically to natural muscle. Grafted muscle will enhance both appearance and strength. It can be combined with other forms of bioware, such as muscle and bone lace. When properly grafted, vat grown muscle is completely indistinguishable from natural muscle. It is a common component of biosculpting.
Muscle & Bone Lace: Muscle and bone lace use nanites to thread microscopic artificial fibers through muscle and bone tissue. The result is that the tissue is both stronger (physical strength is enhanced) and more resistant to damage. The full process is slow, and takes a few weeks to complete. Muscle and bone lace will enhance overall strength and durability, but not to the degree of an actual artificial cyberlimb.
Skin Weave: In a process similar to muscle and bone lace, nanites thread fibers through skin tissue, making it much more resistant to damage. The result is bare skin that has resistance to damage similar to light body armor (think Kevlar). Skin weave is transparent to the naked eye for the most part, but can still be detected with careful observation. It takes a couple weeks for the nanites to complete the upgrade.
Enhanced Antibodies: These are bio-engineered (fully organic) anti-bodies, designed to be more efficient than natural anti-bodies. They will cut healing time in half (for damage related to disease), and boost resistance to diseases.
Toxin Binders: These are nanites designed to bind with particles of various poisons in the body. They will not make you immune to poison and toxins, but they will make you highly resistant to them.
Nanosurgeons: These are nanites specifically designed to repair damage at the cellular level. Nanosurgeons are a common component used for installing cyberware. Unlike enhanced Antibodies, nanosurgeons repair physical damage to the body. They are not meant to mitigate disease or poison.
- FISK, C. Cyberpunk, Version 2.0, 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R.Talsorian Games, 1990 (pg.85)