Research Topic

Next-generation Biomaterials: Integrating Synthetic Materials with Interdisciplinary Approaches to Enhance Cellular Function

About this Research Topic

The biomaterials field in the modern era has evolved from traditional ceramics, metals, and polymers to state-of-the-art bioresponsive materials that can be engineered with desired biochemical and biophysical characteristics for biomedical applications. Current biomaterials, designed to recapitulate the architectural and dynamic features of the native extracellular microenvironment, have emerged as powerful tools to control cellular interactions and functions in the context of tissue regeneration.

Recent major advances in bioengineering tools and biotechnologies have transformed the field of regenerative medicine, achieving tremendous progress that is attributed to (1) the discovery of methods to differentiate stem cells and the establishment of protocols to culture organoids; (2) the adoption of efficient, biocompatible and orthogonal chemistries to enable the transition from conventional 2D cell culture to 3D cell encapsulation platforms; (3) the development of novel biomimetic scaffolds featuring a range of biomechanics at different length-scales with dynamic modulation of material parameters; and (4) the innovation in biofabrication technologies to develop micro-fluidic devices and 3D printing scaffolds to generate functional tissue and organ transplants.

Despite the promising success accomplished to date, there have been limited examples in translating material-based therapies into clinical applications. This is partially due to the persistent challenges in achieving the desired cellular response in the engineered biomaterial constructs that mirror physiological-level tissue function. As progress in developing new chemical conjugations, biofabrication techniques, cell reprogramming processes, and bioengineering tools continues to advance, we envision that it is essential to integrate these design strategies with biomaterials as an integrated system to further drive cell fate and tissue function. 

This Research Topic aims to cover recent advances in the areas that focus on developing next-generation biomaterials and biotechnologies with controlled material composition, defined structural architectures, dynamic functionality, and biological complexity targeted toward various applications in regenerative engineering and translational medicine. Examples of converging biomaterials platforms with various biological tools to capture physiological morphogenesis and to model pathological phenomena using both in vitro and in vivo models are highly encouraged. 

Original Research, Review, and Perspective articles related to the specified subject are welcomed. These subject areas include but are not limited to:

- Development of next-generation synthetic biomaterials with increased multifunctionality over a range of length scales with tissue engineering applications focusing on wound healing, tissue vascularization, and immunomodulation are especially encouraged.

- Innovation in nanomaterials and microparticles with integrated biomedical systems to investigate drug delivery and screen nanomedicines for cancer and infectious diseases treatment.

- Fabrication of advanced synthetic biomaterials with defined structural architecture as bioinks to print 3D implantable tissue- and organ-constructs. 

- Convergence biomaterials with interdisciplinary approaches and technologies to enhance cellular behavior and to model physiological or pathological tissue-level function using advanced in vitro and in vivo models.


Keywords: Multifunctional Biomaterials, Tissue Mechanics, Extracellular Microenvironment, Bioengineering Tools, Regenerative Medicine


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The biomaterials field in the modern era has evolved from traditional ceramics, metals, and polymers to state-of-the-art bioresponsive materials that can be engineered with desired biochemical and biophysical characteristics for biomedical applications. Current biomaterials, designed to recapitulate the architectural and dynamic features of the native extracellular microenvironment, have emerged as powerful tools to control cellular interactions and functions in the context of tissue regeneration.

Recent major advances in bioengineering tools and biotechnologies have transformed the field of regenerative medicine, achieving tremendous progress that is attributed to (1) the discovery of methods to differentiate stem cells and the establishment of protocols to culture organoids; (2) the adoption of efficient, biocompatible and orthogonal chemistries to enable the transition from conventional 2D cell culture to 3D cell encapsulation platforms; (3) the development of novel biomimetic scaffolds featuring a range of biomechanics at different length-scales with dynamic modulation of material parameters; and (4) the innovation in biofabrication technologies to develop micro-fluidic devices and 3D printing scaffolds to generate functional tissue and organ transplants.

Despite the promising success accomplished to date, there have been limited examples in translating material-based therapies into clinical applications. This is partially due to the persistent challenges in achieving the desired cellular response in the engineered biomaterial constructs that mirror physiological-level tissue function. As progress in developing new chemical conjugations, biofabrication techniques, cell reprogramming processes, and bioengineering tools continues to advance, we envision that it is essential to integrate these design strategies with biomaterials as an integrated system to further drive cell fate and tissue function. 

This Research Topic aims to cover recent advances in the areas that focus on developing next-generation biomaterials and biotechnologies with controlled material composition, defined structural architectures, dynamic functionality, and biological complexity targeted toward various applications in regenerative engineering and translational medicine. Examples of converging biomaterials platforms with various biological tools to capture physiological morphogenesis and to model pathological phenomena using both in vitro and in vivo models are highly encouraged. 

Original Research, Review, and Perspective articles related to the specified subject are welcomed. These subject areas include but are not limited to:

- Development of next-generation synthetic biomaterials with increased multifunctionality over a range of length scales with tissue engineering applications focusing on wound healing, tissue vascularization, and immunomodulation are especially encouraged.

- Innovation in nanomaterials and microparticles with integrated biomedical systems to investigate drug delivery and screen nanomedicines for cancer and infectious diseases treatment.

- Fabrication of advanced synthetic biomaterials with defined structural architecture as bioinks to print 3D implantable tissue- and organ-constructs. 

- Convergence biomaterials with interdisciplinary approaches and technologies to enhance cellular behavior and to model physiological or pathological tissue-level function using advanced in vitro and in vivo models.


Keywords: Multifunctional Biomaterials, Tissue Mechanics, Extracellular Microenvironment, Bioengineering Tools, Regenerative Medicine


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 May 2021 Abstract
31 August 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 May 2021 Abstract
31 August 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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