Natural architectures for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

Floris Honig, Steven Vermeulen, Amir A. Zadpoor, Jan de Boer, Lidy E. Fratila-Apachitei (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to control the interactions between functional biomaterials and biological systems is of great importance for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. However, the underlying mechanisms defining the interplay between biomaterial properties and the human body are complex. Therefore, a key challenge is to design biomaterials that mimic the in vivo microenvironment. Over millions of years, nature has produced a wide variety of biological materials optimised for distinct functions, ranging from the extracellular matrix (ECM) for structural and biochemical support of cells to the holy lotus with special wettability for self-cleaning effects. Many of these systems found in biology possess unique surface properties recognised to regulate cell behaviour. Integration of such natural surface properties in biomaterials can bring about novel cell responses in vitro and provide greater insights into the processes occurring at the cell-biomaterial interface. Using natural surfaces as templates for bioinspired design can stimulate progress in the field of regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and biomaterials science. This literature review aims to combine the state-of-the-art knowledge in natural and nature-inspired surfaces, with an emphasis on material properties known to affect cell behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Article number47
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Functional Biomaterials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2020


This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 676338.

FundersFunder number
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
Marie Skłodowska‐Curie676338


    • (bio) materials
    • Biomimicry
    • Natural and nature-inspired surfaces
    • Regenerative medicine
    • Surface-cell interactions
    • Tissue engineering


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