Some of the most important advances in the life sciences have come from transitioning to thinking of materials and their properties on the nanoscale rather than the macro or even microscale. Improvements in imaging technology have allowed us to see nanofeatures that directly impact chemical and mechanical properties of natural and man-made materials. Now that these can be imaged and quantified, substantial advances have been made in the fields of biomimetics, tissue engineering, and drug delivery. For the first time, scientists can determine the importance of nanograins and nanoasperities in nacre, direct the nucleation of apatite and the growth of cells on nanostructured scaffolds, and pass drugs tethered to nanoparticles through the blood-brain barrier. This review examines some of the most interesting materials whose nanostructure and hierarchical organization have been shown to correlate directly with favorable properties and their resulting applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Materials Science(all)
- Drug delivery
- Nanostructured scaffolds