A review of combined experimental and computational procedures for assessing biopolymer structure–process–property relationships
Author(s)Gronau, Greta; Krishnaji, Sreevidhya T.; Kinahan, Michelle E.; Giesa, Tristan; Wong, Joyce Y.; Kaplan, David L.; Buehler, Markus J; ... Show more Show less
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Tailored biomaterials with tunable functional properties are desirable for many applications ranging from drug delivery to regenerative medicine. To improve the predictability of biopolymer materials functionality, multiple design parameters need to be considered, along with appropriate models. In this article we review the state of the art of synthesis and processing related to the design of biopolymers, with an emphasis on the integration of bottom-up computational modeling in the design process. We consider three prominent examples of well-studied biopolymer materials – elastin, silk, and collagen – and assess their hierarchical structure, intriguing functional properties and categorize existing approaches to study these materials. We find that an integrated design approach in which both experiments and computational modeling are used has rarely been applied for these materials due to difficulties in relating insights gained on different length- and time-scales. In this context, multiscale engineering offers a powerful means to accelerate the biomaterials design process for the development of tailored materials that suit the needs posed by the various applications. The combined use of experimental and computational tools has a very broad applicability not only in the field of biopolymers, but can be exploited to tailor the properties of other polymers and composite materials in general.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Laboratory for Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics
Gronau, Greta, Sreevidhya T. Krishnaji, Michelle E. Kinahan, Tristan Giesa, Joyce Y. Wong, David L. Kaplan, and Markus J. Buehler. “A Review of Combined Experimental and Computational Procedures for Assessing Biopolymer Structure–process–property Relationships.” Biomaterials 33, no. 33 (November 2012): 8240–8255.
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