Stepping into the omics era: Opportunities and challenges for biomaterials science and engineering

Nathalie Groen, Murat Guvendiren, Herschel Rabitz, William J. Welsh, Joachim Kohn, Jan De Boer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

The research paradigm in biomaterials science and engineering is evolving from using low-throughput and iterative experimental designs towards high-throughput experimental designs for materials optimization and the evaluation of materials properties. Computational science plays an important role in this transition. With the emergence of the omics approach in the biomaterials field, referred to as materiomics, high-throughput approaches hold the promise of tackling the complexity of materials and understanding correlations between material properties and their effects on complex biological systems. The intrinsic complexity of biological systems is an important factor that is often oversimplified when characterizing biological responses to materials and establishing property-activity relationships. Indeed, in vitro tests designed to predict in vivo performance of a given biomaterial are largely lacking as we are not able to capture the biological complexity of whole tissues in an in vitro model. In this opinion paper, we explain how we reached our opinion that converging genomics and materiomics into a new field would enable a significant acceleration of the development of new and improved medical devices. The use of computational modeling to correlate high-throughput gene expression profiling with high throughput combinatorial material design strategies would add power to the analysis of biological effects induced by material properties. We believe that this extra layer of complexity on top of high-throughput material experimentation is necessary to tackle the biological complexity and further advance the biomaterials field. Statement of Significance In this opinion paper, we postulate that converging genomics and materiomics into a new field would enable a significant acceleration of the development of new and improved medical devices. The use of computational modeling to correlate high-throughput gene expression profiling with high throughput combinatorial material design strategies would add power to the analysis of biological effects induced by material properties. We believe that this extra layer of complexity on top of high-throughput material experimentation is necessary to tackle the biological complexity and further advance the biomaterials field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-142
Number of pages10
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Volume34
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology

Keywords

  • Combinatorial screening
  • Computational modeling
  • Converging omics fields
  • Genomics
  • High-throughput experimentation
  • Materiomics
  • Transcriptomics

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