Engineering mammalian living materials towards clinically relevant therapeutics


Engineered living materials represent a new generation of human-made biotherapeutics that are highly attractive for a myriad of medical applications. In essence, such cell-rich platforms provide encodable bioactivities with extended lifetimes and environmental multi-adaptability currently unattainable in conventional biomaterial platforms. Emerging cell bioengineering tools are herein discussed from the perspective of materializing living cells as cooperative building blocks that drive the assembly of multiscale living materials. Owing to their living character, pristine cellular units can also be imparted with additional therapeutically-relevant biofunctionalities. On this focus, the most recent advances on the engineering of mammalian living materials and their biomedical applications are herein outlined, alongside with a critical perspective on major roadblocks hindering their realistic clinical translation. All in all, transposing the concept of leveraging living materials as autologous tissue-building entities and/or self-regulated biotherapeutics opens new realms for improving precision and personalized medicine strategies in the foreseeable future. (C) 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V.



subject category

Medicine, General & Internal; Medicine, Research & Experimental


Lavrador, P; Gaspar, VM; Mano, JF

our authors


Pedro Lavrador acknowledges an individual PhD fellowship from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (SFRH/BD/141834/2018) . Vitor Gaspar also acknowledges the financial support by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology through an individual Junior Researcher contract (CEEC/1048/2019) . This work was also supported by the Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalizacao (POCI) , in the component FEDER, and by national funds (OE) through FCT/MCTES, in the scope of the projects Margel (PTDC/BTM-MAT/31498/2017) and PANGEIA (PTDC/BTM-SAL/30503/2017) . This work was developed within the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, UIDB/50011/2020 & UIDP/50011/2020, financed by national funds through the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology/MCTES. The funders were not involved in paper design, literature collection, literature analysis, interpretation or writing of the paper.

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