Supramolecular Biomaterials in the Netherlands

Matthew B. Baker*, Anton W. Bosman, Martijn A.J. Cox, Patricia Y.W. Dankers, Aylvin Dias, Pascal Jonkheijm, Roxanne Kieltyka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


Synthetically designed biomaterials strive to recapitulate and mimic the complex environment of natural systems. Using natural materials as a guide, the ability to create high-performance biomaterials that control cell fate, and support the next generation of cell- and tissue-based therapeutics, is starting to emerge. Supramolecular chemistry takes inspiration from the wealth of noncovalent interactions found in natural materials that are inherently complex, and using the skills of synthetic and polymer chemistry, recreates simple systems to imitate their features. Within the past decade, supramolecular biomaterials have shown utility in tissue engineering and the progress predicts a bright future. On this 30th anniversary of the Netherlands Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering society, we briefly recount the state of supramolecular biomaterials in the Dutch academic and industrial research and development context. This review provides the background, recent advances, industrial successes and challenges, as well as future directions of the field, as we see it. Throughout this work, we notice the intricate interplay between simplicity and complexity in creating more advanced solutions. We hope that the interplay and juxtaposition between these two forces can propel the field forward. Supramolecular biomaterials based on noncovalent interactions hold the ability to rebuild some of the complexity of natural biomaterials in synthetic systems. While still in its infancy, the field is currently vigorously moving from fundamental experiments toward applications and products in the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine arena. Herein, we review the current state of the field in the Netherlands. While supramolecular biomaterials have incredible potential, systematic studies, balancing complexity and simplicity, efficient translation, and enhanced performance are all required for success of these strategies. As we move the field toward commercial solutions for clinical patients, we must also pay homage and remember the fundamental studies that allow these jumps in innovation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-524
Number of pages14
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A
Issue number11-12
Early online date16 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • biomaterials
  • supramolecular biomaterials
  • tissue engineering
  • 2023 OA procedure


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