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This collection of primary research articles, reviews and protocols focuses on an emerging topic of mechanobiology, highlighting the broad involvement of mechanical forces in different biological contexts, their roles in development, physiology and disease, and how these forces are sensed and transduced to produce biologically-relevant responses. The collection also showcases new technical approaches to modulate mechanobiology, which in the future could be used to control cell fate and behaviour for therapeutic benefits.
The field of immunoengineering is progressing at high speed, and materials science greatly contributes to this progress by providing smart and controllable tools for immunotherapy with the aim to improve clinical outcomes.
In health and biomedical applications, electronic technologies allow monitoring, sensing and extracting physiological data as well as correcting or supporting tissue function through electrical stimuli. This collection highlights the recent developments in materials science, electronics and biology of bioelectronic devices.
Perovskite materials have become very promising candidates for a new generation of potentially printable and efficient optoelectronic devices. Photovoltaic devices based on hybrid perovskites now achieve more than 20% photoconversion efficiency, and applications in solid-state lighting, photodetection and lasing are soaring. Their optoelectronic and photophysical properties are under intense scrutiny.
This web-collection brings together a selection of multi-disciplinary research and comments published in the Nature journals that explores the basic properties of halide-based perovskite materials and their potential for application in optoelectronics, from solar cells to lasers. It serves to illustrate the road to easily processable and efficient devices by presenting both historical milestones and the crucial landmark studies published in the last 12 months in the Nature journals.
Synchrotron radiation provides insight into the structure and properties of diverse materials. In this issue, our collection of articles examines the role of synchrotron techniques in materials characterization, including understanding intrinsic properties and elucidating structure–property relationships for the improved performance of these materials.
The field of soft robotics aims to develop soft, compliant robots to interact with humans or to perform autonomous tasks. In this issue, our collection of articles looks in depth at bioinspired and other design concepts, soft materials, fabrication techniques, biomedical applications and the future challenges.
Image: Lori K. Sanders, Michael Wehner, Ryan L. Truby
The tissue microenvironment is structurally and dynamically complex. Materials designed to interact with diseased or compromised tissue to induce regeneration, or to act as a scaffold for the production of tissues in the laboratory, thus need to be responsive to the microenvironment. For this, researchers leverage increased knowledge of the importance of the spatiotemporal integration of biomaterials with the tissue environment, as well as latest developments in high-resolution technologies in imaging and in materials synthesis and fabrication. Dynamically responsive materials for use in tissue engineering respond to external stimuli or have inherent properties that trigger the targeted, timed release of integral chemical constituents or of incorporated ligands for the controlled repair or remodelling of surrounding tissue. This collection highlights recent impactful advances, published in Nature-branded journals, in such dynamic biomaterials.
In this Focus Issue, we explore the field of 2D materials with articles on their synthesis, fundamental properties, and the devices they enable. The challenges facing the commercialization of 2D materials, their adoption in biomedicine and other application areas are also discussed.