Marine structural biomaterials in medical biomimicry

David W. Green, Jong Min Lee, Han Sung Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Marine biomaterials display properties, behaviors, and functions that have not been artificially matched in relation to their hierarchical construction, crack-stopping properties, growth adaptation, and energy efficiency. The discovery and understanding of such features that are characteristic of natural biomaterials can be used to manufacture more energy-efficient and lightweight materials. However, a more detailed understanding of the design of natural biomaterials with good performance and the mechanism of their design is required. Far-reaching biomolecular characterization of biomaterials and biostructures from the ocean world is possible with sophisticated analytical methods, such as whole-genome RNA-seq, and de novo transcriptome sequencing and mass spectrophotometry-based sequencing. In combination with detailed material characterization, the elements in newly discovered biomaterials and their properties can be reconstituted into biomimetic or bio-inspired materials. A major aim of harnessing marine biomaterials is their translation into biomimetic counterparts. To achieve full translation, the genome, proteome, and hierarchical material characteristics, and their profiles in space and time, have to be associated to allow for smooth biomimetic translation. In this article, we highlight the novel science of marine biomimicry from a materials perspective. We focus on areas of material design and fabrication that have excelled in marine biological models, such as embedded interfaces, chiral organization, and the use of specialized composite material-on-material designs. Our emphasis is primarily on key materials with high value in healthcare in which we evaluate their future prospects. Marine biomaterials are among the most exquisite and powerful aspects in materials science today.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-450
Number of pages13
JournalTissue Engineering - Part B: Reviews
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2015.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering


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