Nature: Mimicking biological functionality with polymers for biomedical applications

Jordan J. Green & Jennifer H. Elisseeff

Nature 540, 386–394 (15 December 2016) doi:10.1038/nature21005
Received 06 January 2016 Accepted 12 September 2016 Published online 14 December 2016


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.