Biomaterials are those materials — be it natural or synthetic, alive or lifeless, and usually made of multiple components — that interact with biological systems. Biomaterials are often used in medical applications to augment or replace a natural function.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research
    | Open Access

    Animals precisely control the morphology and assembly of guanine crystals to produce diverse optical phenomena but little is known about how organisms regulate crystallization to produce optically useful morphologies. Here, the authors demonstrate that pre-assembled, fibrillar sheets in developing scallop eyes template nucleation and direct the growth and orientation of plate-like guanine crystals showing a striking resemblance to melanosome morphogenesis.

    • Avital Wagner
    • , Alexander Upcher
    •  & Benjamin A. Palmer
  • Reviews |

    Oral drug delivery is a commonly used strategy to deliver therapeutics. However, the harsh environment in the digestive tract prevents the oral administration of many drugs and can negatively affect drug efficacy. This Review discusses how biological materials and living microorganisms can be designed into bioinspired oral delivery devices that can overcome many of the challenges associated with oral delivery.

    • Xiaoxuan Zhang
    • , Guopu Chen
    •  & Yuanjin Zhao
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Modifiers of diverse materials exhibit structures or compositions that differ from a solute molecule but often contain similar functional motifs that facilitate molecular recognition for modifier binding to crystal surfaces. Here the authors examine the intrinsic capability of tautomers, or structural isomers, to operate as crystal growth inhibitors.’

    • Weiwei Tang
    • , Taimin Yang
    •  & Jeffrey D. Rimer
  • Research
    | Open Access

    ‘Manufacturing CAR-T cells is a streamlined and highly regulated procedure involving T-cell-expansion and activation on a standardised platform. Here, the authors show that a personalized approach, taking the phenotypic attributes of individual patients’ T cells into account, leads to more efficient CAR-T cell manufacturing and better CAR-T cell functionality.

    • David K. Y. Zhang
    • , Kwasi Adu-Berchie
    •  & David J. Mooney

News and Comment

  • Comments & Opinion |

    Cancer nanotherapy suffers from low-yield delivery that is imposed by tumour pathophysiological barriers. Top-down drug delivery strategies, including exosomes and cell membrane-coated particles, can improve safety and efficacy owing to the innate biointerfacial properties of these platforms. Here, we discuss the technological challenges that need to be overcome for their clinical implementation.

    • João M. J. M. Ravasco
    • , Ana Cláudia Paiva-Santos
    •  & João Conde
  • Comments & Opinion |

    Delivery of vaccines by nasal sprays may enable more robust, protective mucosal immune responses against infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, compared with intramuscular injection. In this Comment, we highlight how biomaterials can be designed to allow intranasal and inhaled vaccination.

    • Devorah Cahn
    • , Mayowa Amosu
    •  & Gregg A. Duncan
  • Research Highlights |

    An article in Nature Biomedical Engineering reports an intravenously injectable extracellular matrix biomaterial that can target and seal injured tissue by binding to leaky microvasculature.

    • Christine-Maria Horejs
  • Research Highlights |

    An article in Nature Biotechnology reports an expansion microscopy technique that does not require a separate anchoring step, achieving a resolution comparable to super-resolution imaging techniques.

    • Christine-Maria Horejs
  • Research Highlights |

    A paper in Science Robotics reports living microrobots made of magnetically responsive bacteria for targeted drug delivery in cancer therapy. A magnetic torque-driven control scheme enhances the transport of the microrobots through the endothelial barrier to the tumour site.

    • Nesma El-Sayed Ibrahim