Harnessing the Power of Biomaterials and Biofluids to Innovate and Revolutionize Medicine

Materials Studio

How can biomaterials revolutionize medicine as we know it?
Image source: Flickr user Gabriel Jorby

If the human body were thought of as a machine, biofluids would be the oil and gas necessary for its function or the dirtier components beneath the gleaming exterior. In general, biofluids refer to the “liquids originating from inside” the human body and include diverse fluids, from amniotic fluid and feces to gastric acid and blood serum.1 Importantly, however, these “dirty components” can be essential for monitoring health or even delivering essential drugs.2 Understanding the interaction between biofluids and the biomaterials used to diagnosis and treat disease can potentially revolutionize clinical knowledge.

In Vitro Biomaterials to Save Lives

In order to better understand the relationship between biofluids and biomaterials, it is useful to first develop appropriate models for these bodily solutions.3 For example, artificial saliva solutions have been “doped” with asthma therapies in order to characterize how they diffuse within saliva and affect the pH and interfacial tension of various tissues. The information resulting from such a model is essential to understanding how therapies change the internal environment of patients, allowing researchers to predict the efficacy of current and new therapies.

Another way in which artificial solutions can be helpful is with regard to the development of biomaterials themselves. Biomaterials will continue to play an essential role in medicine via the development of implantable devices or bioinert compounds that can be used in the treatment of a variety of conditions (i.e. dental implants, artificial kidneys, etc.)4 and as components of drug delivery systems.5

These innovations begin with being able to create artificial solutions or artificial biomaterials that mimic biofluids, but can be better than human-based studies. As discussed by James E. Polli in an article on the subject, “Human pharmacokinetic in vivo studies are often presumed to serve as the “gold standard”…However…it appears that in vitro studies are sometimes better….[because they] (1) reduce costs, (b) more directly assess product performance, and (c) offer benefits in terms of ethical considerations.”

Utilizing Lab Software for the Development of Biomaterials

There are a number of components of biofluids, which can be modeled by engineering certain polymers or composites that mimic the behavior of actual bodily fluids. Furthermore, in this careful modeling process, researchers can more directly assess how specific materials might behave in the bodies of human subjects without the extensive costs of using humans.

Specially designed software platforms can assist in the development of artificial bodily fluids. When engineering specific polymers or composites, researchers can test how these materials change the pH or viscosity, for example, of artificial saliva, spinal fluid or blood plasma. With appropriate lab software, scientists have an opportunity to accelerate the discovery of biomaterials and solutions that can mimic biofluids, while also creating novel biomaterials in the form of nanoparticles for drug delivery or biodegradable wires for the targeted treatment of tumors. When integrated with digital lab notebooks, lab software can increase collaborative efforts across campuses worldwide, while still maintaining the organization and accessibility of existing information.
Whether your company would like to make artificial biofluids or focus on novel biomaterials that interact with these fluids, please contact us today to learn how BIOVIA Materials Studio can improve your scientific work and increase productivity.

  1. “Body fluids,” August 15, 2015, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_fluid
  2. “Biofluid-Based Circulating Tumor Molecules as Diagnostic Tools for Use in Personalized Medicine,” December 13, 2013, http://www.omicsonline.org/biofluidbased-circulating-tumor-molecules-as-diagnostic-tools-for-use-in-personalized-medicine-2155-9929.1000157.php?aid=22164
  3. “Studies in applied materials science: Drug-biofluid interactions and light-emitting polymer films,” 2012, http://gradworks.umi.com/15/09/1509083.html
  4. “New Functional Biomaterials for Medicine and Healthcare,” 2014, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/book/9781782422655
  5. “Capturing the Full Power of Biomaterials for Military Medicine,” 2004, http://www.nap.edu/read/11063/chapter/3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *