Liquid crystal is a state of matter being intermediate between solid and liquid. Liquid crystal materials exhibit both orientational order and fluidity. While liquid crystals have long been highly recognized in the display industry, in recent decades, liquid crystals provide new opportunities into the cross-field of material science and biomedicine due to their biocompatibility, multifunctionality, and responsiveness. In this review, the latest achievements of liquid crystal materials applied in biomedical fields are summarized. The start is made by introducing the basic concepts of liquid crystals, and then shifting to the components of liquid crystals as well as functional materials derived therefrom. After that, the ongoing and foreseeable applications of liquid crystal materials in the biomedical field with emphasis put on several cutting-edge aspects, including drug delivery, bioimaging, tissue engineering, implantable devices, biosensing, and wearable devices are discussed. It is hoped that this review will stimulate ingenious ideas for the future generation of liquid crystal-based drug development, artificial implants, disease diagnosis, health status monitoring, and beyond.
Keywords: bioimaging; biosensing; drug delivery; implantable devices; liquid crystals; tissue engineering; wearable devices.
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