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  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: April 2013

Chapter 1 - Introducing materiomics


Introduction to materiomics

The ability to regenerate and repair tissues and organs – using science and engineering to supplement biology – continuously intrigues and inspires those hoping that the frailty of our bodies can be ultimately avoided. From ancient times, a surprising range of unnatural materials have been used to (partially) substitute human tissues for medicinal purposes. For example, in the era of the Incas (c. 1500), moulded materials such as gold and silver were used for the ‘surgical’ repair of cranial defects. In addition, archaeological findings reveal a wide range of materials, such as bronze, wood and leather, being used to replace and repair parts of the human body. Continuous refinement led to the first evidence of materials successfully implanted inside the body, reportedly used to repair a bone defect in the seventeenth century (see Further Reading).

Even earlier than this, the relationships between anatomy (i.e. structure) and function of living systems had been explored by Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei, who were among the first few to apply fundamental science to biological systems. In the current age of technology, new materials for biomedical and clinical application have undergone a modern Renaissance, resulting in a surge in design and successful application (1–5). The concepts of tissue repair and substitution are constantly improving and becoming more accessible, as proven for example by the widespread occurrence (and popular approval) of total hip and knee replacements. But rather than replacement with synthetic analogues, can biological tissue(s) be directly engineered?

Further reading
Albright, AL, Pollack, IF, Adelson, PD. Principles and Practice of Pediatric Neurosurgery 2nd edn: Thieme; 2008.
Hook, AL, Anderson, DG, Langer, R. High throughput methods applied in biomaterial development and discovery. Biomaterials. 2010;31(2): 187–98.
Meekeren, JJ. Observationes Medico-chirurgicae. Ex Officina Henrici & Vidnae Theodoi Boom; 1682 [In Latin].
Potyrailo, R, Rajan, K, Stoewe, K. Combinatorial and high-throughput screening of materials libraries: review of state of the art. ACS Comb. Sci2011;13 (6):579–633.
Simon, CG, Lin-Gibson, S. Combinatorial and high-throughput screening of biomaterials. Adv Mater Special Issue: Polymer Science at NIST. 2011;23(3) :369–87.
Langer, R, Tirrell, DA. Designing materials for biology and medicine. Nature. 2004;428(6982):487–92.
Burg, KJL, Porter, S, Kellam, JF. Biomaterial developments for bone tissue engineering. Biomaterials. 2000;21(23):2347–59.
Ma, PX. Biomimetic materials for tissue engineering. Adv Drug Deliver Rev. 2008;60(2):184–98.
Shin, H, Jo, S, Mikos, AG. Biomimetic materials for tissue engineering. Biomaterials. 2003;24(24):4353–64.
Langer, R, Vacanti, JP. Tissue engineering. Science. 1993;260(5110):920–6.
de Bruijn, JD, Yuan, HP, Fernandes, H et al. Osteoinductive ceramics as a synthetic alternative to autologous bone grafting. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2010;107(31):13614–19.
Neuss, S, Apel, C, Buttler, P et al. Assessment of stem cell/biomaterial combinations for stem cell-based tissue engineering. Biomaterials. 2008;29(3):302–13.
Fratzl, P, Weinkamer, R. Nature’s hierarchical materials. Prog Mater Sci. 2007;52(8):1263–334.
Buehler, MJ, Yung, YC. Deformation and failure of protein materials in physiologically extreme conditions and disease. Nat Mater. 2009;8(3):175–88.
Csete, ME, Doyle, JC. Reverse engineering of biological complexity. Science. 2002;295(5560):1664–9.
Unadkat, HV, Hulsman, M, Cornelissen, K et al. An algorithm-based topographical biomaterials library to instruct cell fate. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2011;10.1073/pnas.1109861108.
Knowles, TPJ, Buehler, MJ. Nanomechanics of functional and pathological amyloid materials. Nat Nanotechnol. 2011;6(8):469–79.
Buehler, MJ. Tu(r)ning weakness to strength. Nano Today. 2010;5(5):379–83.
Cranford, S, Buehler, MJ. Materiomics: biological protein materials, from nano to macro. Nanotechnol Sci Appl. 2010;3(1):127–48.
Ackbarow, T, Buehler, MJ. Hierarchical coexistence of universality and diversity controls robustness and multi-functionality in protein materials. J Comput Theor Nanos. 2008;5(7):1193–204.
Buehler, MJ. Nanomaterials: Strength in numbers. Nat Nanotechnol. 2010;5(3):172–4.
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Vincent, JFV, Bogatyreva, OA, Bogatyrev, NR, Bowyer, A, Pahl, AK. Biomimetics: its practice and theory. J R Soc Interface. 2006;3(9):471–82.
Webster, DC. Combinatorial and high-throughput methods in macromolecular materials research and development. Macromol Chem Phys. 2008;209(3):237–46.
Rademann, J, Jung, G. Drug discovery: Integrating combinatorial synthesis and bioassays. Science. 2000;287(5460):1947–8.
Westerhoff, HV, Bruggeman, FJ. The nature of systems biology. Trends Microbiol. 2007;15(1):45–50.
Venter, JC. Multiple personal genomes await. Nature. 2010;464(7289):676–7.
Rogers, YH, Venter, JC. Genomics: Massively parallel sequencing. Nature. 2005;437(7057):326–7.
Kohn, J, Welsh, WJ, Knight, D. A new approach to the rationale discovery of polymeric biomaterials. Biomaterials. 2007;28(29):4171–7.
Xiang, XD, Sun, XD, Briceno, G et al. A combinatorial approach to materials discovery. Science. 1995;268(5218):1738–40.
Langer, R, Anderson, DG, Levenberg, S. Nanolitre-scale synthesis of arrayed biomaterials and application to human embryonic stem cells. Nat Biotechnol. 2004;22(7):863–6.
Oreffo, ROC, Tare, RS, Khan, F et al. A microarray approach to the identification of polyurethanes for the isolation of human skeletal progenitor cells and augmentation of skeletal cell growth. Biomaterials. 2009;30(6):1045–55.
Capito, RM, Azevedo, HS, Velichko, YS, Mata, A, Stupp, SI. Self-assembly of large and small molecules into hierarchically ordered sacs and membranes. Science. 2008;319(5871):1812–16.
Silva, GA, Czeisler, C, Niece, KL et al. Selective differentiation of neural progenitor cells by high-epitope density nanofibers. Science. 2004;303(5662):1352–5.
Stupp, SI, Braun, PV. Molecular manipulation of microstructures: Biomaterials, ceramics, and semiconductors. Science. 1997;277(5330):1242–8.
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