Challenges and opportunities for innovation in bioinformed sustainable materials

Devi Stuart-Fox*, Leslie Ng, Leonie Barner, Andrew T.D. Bennett, Sean J. Blamires, Mark A. Elgar, Alistair R. Evans, Amanda M. Franklin, Katja Hölttä-Otto, James A. Hutchison, Fernando Jativa, Anna Lee Jessop, Jennifer Kelley, Janet McGaw, Jun Mei, Mohammad Mirkhalaf, Mustafa Musameh, Chiara Neto, Andrea J. O’Connor, Tim SchorkGerd E. Schröder-Turk, Nicolas H. Voelcker, Anna Wang, Gregory S. Watson, Jolanta A. Watson, Lukas Wesemann, Wallace W.H. Wong

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Nature provides a rich source of information for the design of novel materials; yet there remain significant challenges in the design and manufacture of materials that replicate the form, function, and sustainability of biological solutions. Here, we identify key challenges and promising approaches to the development of materials informed by biology. These challenges fall into two main areas; the first relates to harnessing biological information for materials innovation, including key differences between biological and synthetic materials, and the relationship between structure and function. We propose an approach to materials innovation that capitalizes on biodiversity, together with high-throughput characterization of biological material architectures and properties, linked to environmental and ecological context. The second area relates to the design and manufacture of bioinformed materials, including the physical scale of material architectures and manufacturing scale up. We suggest ways to address these challenges and promising prospects for a bioinformed approach to materials innovation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number80
    JournalCommunications Materials
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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