Review Article | Published:

Mimicking biological functionality with polymers for biomedical applications

Nature volume 540, pages 386394 (15 December 2016) | Download Citation

Abstract

The vast opportunities for biomaterials design and functionality enabled by mimicking nature continue to stretch the limits of imagination. As both biological understanding and engineering capabilities develop, more sophisticated biomedical materials can be synthesized that have multifaceted chemical, biological and physical characteristics designed to achieve specific therapeutic goals. Mimicry is being used in the design of polymers for biomedical applications that are required locally in tissues, systemically throughout the body, and at the interface with tissues.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank K. Sadtler for contributions and the design of Figs 1 and 4, C. Cherry for editorial assistance, and M. Frisk for critical review and manuscript contributions. J.J.G. was supported in part by the NIH (1R01EB016721). J.H.E. was supported by the Department of Defense including the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine.

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Affiliations

  1. Translational Tissue Engineering Center, Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Ophthalmology, and the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.

    • Jordan J. Green
    •  & Jennifer H. Elisseeff

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jennifer H. Elisseeff.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nature21005

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