Mimicking biological functionality with polymers for biomedical applications

Nature. 2016 Dec 14;540(7633):386-394. doi: 10.1038/nature21005.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adhesives / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials* / chemistry
  • Biomimetic Materials* / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Hydrogels / chemistry
  • Molecular Mimicry
  • Nanostructures / administration & dosage
  • Nanostructures / chemistry
  • Polymers* / chemistry
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry
  • Viruses / chemistry


  • Adhesives
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Hydrogels
  • Polymers