Biopolymers for materials, tissues and foods towards a sustainable future

D. Kaplan
Tufts University,
United States

Keywords: biopolymers, bioengineering, sustainability, materials, devices, food, tissues


The need for materials, devices, tissues and foods that reflect natural systems and sustainability has finally emerged as a significant driving force in discovery and translation for many technological needs. Such systems, based on native biopolymers, bioengineered polymers and processing of biopolymers into new material formats offers new opportunities to rethink, redesign and reformulate future systems with reduced negative impacts on human health and the environment. Toward this goal, we focus on engineered biopolymers and their utility, in passive, active, implantable and edible material systems for a range of needs. Our central hypothesis is that sustainable, cost-effective, and scalable biopolymer-based materials can provide safer, healthier and environmentally compatible alternatives. Towards this goal, challenges, opportunities and recent advances will be highlighted as a blueprint for the future.