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(ISSN 1933–9631) is a publication o Aldrich Chemical Co., Inc. Aldrich is a member o theSigma-Aldrich Group. © 2008 Sigma-Aldrich Co.
Vol. 3 No. 3
I n t r o d u c t i o n
About Our Cover
Researchers are developing new methods or the preparation o biomaterials that unction to improveproperties o biomedical devices. Layer-by-Layer sel-assembly (LbL), described in the article on page57, is a useul method or making thin ilms o unctional biomaterials. In the LbL technique, alternatelayers o oppositely charged polymers are solution deposited to orm multilayered ilms (see illustrationon cover) on suraces o biomedical devices (e.g. stents), or walls o controlled-release capsules (pills).Charged drugs or biological molecules (proteins, DNA) can be incorporated into the LbL ilms. Forexample, cationic poly(diallylammonium chloride) shown on the cover can be co-deposited with anionicDNA; the ilms can release encapsulated DNA, working as vehicles or gene delivery. See the producttable on page 60 or a list o polymers or LbL applications.
Welcome to the third 2008 issue o
ocusing on Biomaterials, aresearch area that deals with synthetic and natural materials used in contact withbiological systems. The ield o biomaterials is interdisciplinary and encompasses aspectso materials science as well as chemistry, biology, and medicine. It has a unique “human”aspect: ew other areas o materials research can have equally direct impact on thequality o human lives by advancing medical care and diagnostics. Some results obiomaterials research are already implemented in medical practice. For example, steadyresearch progress made over the last 50 years in structural biomaterials lead to signiicantimprovements in quality o dental implants and artiicial hip joints. Other aspects obiomaterials research are just starting to aect our lives. Novel polymeric biomaterialswhich encapsulate and control release rate release o drugs are used to design “high-tech” pills and to coat suraces o cardiovascular implants. More advanced biomaterialsapplications are shaping on the research horizon: tissue engineering scaolds, genedelivery devices, and biochips designed to customize medical care to an individualpatient’s genotype are some areas o active research.Modern biomaterials are becoming complex, and present challenges both in termso preparation (synthesis, abrication, processing) o new material types, as well asanalyses o inished biomaterials and their interactions with biological systems. In thisissue, researchers rom the Northwestern University describe new methods to preparebiomaterial suraces resistant to ouling by biomolecules and bioorganisms. Layer-by-layer sel-assembly, an innovative and versatile approach to prepare thin ilms ounctional biomaterials, is described in the article written by Drs. Ariga and Hill romthe Japan’s National Institute or Materials Science. In their article on p. 57, researchersrom the University o Nijmegen and Encapson B.V., Netherlands, discuss the applicationo “click” chemistry to make designer macromolecules that can be used as buildingblocks or controlled, bottom-up preparation o biomaterials. In the area o biomaterialscharacterization, Proessor Mrksich rom the University o Chicago describes SAMDI-TOF,a surace-sensitive mass spectrometry technique that can be used to measure detailedchemical composition o, or example, biochip suraces. Finally, Proessors Huster andPretzsch rom the University o Leipzig, Germany, write about application o solid stateNMR to characterize engineered bone tissue — a very complex unctional biomaterialcentral to current eorts in regenerative medicine.Customary to
, each article in this issue is accompanied by a list oSigma-Aldrich
products helpul in the corresponding kind o biomaterials research.We at Sigma-Aldrich are pleased to combine our global expertise in high technology andlie science to bring you a set o interdisciplinary tools or biomaterials research, whichcan be ound at
. I you think we can improve thispage or add another set o products helpul or your work, email us at
.Ilya Koltover, Ph.D.Aldrich