Reviewed by James Henderson
AK Gaharwar, S Sant, MJ Hancock and SA Hacking eds.
This recent title, edited by Drs. Gaharwar, Sant, Hancock, and Hacking, marks a timely contribution for researchers working at the intersection of the highly active fields of nanomaterials and tissue engineering. Following an introductory chapter that will likely be much appreciated by readers new to the fields, the text is organized into three sections that focus on fabrication of nanomaterials for tissue engineering and on application of nanomaterials in engineering of soft and hard tissues, respectively.
Experts already familiar with the field may find that this volume addresses a previously underserved niche within the spectrum of biomaterials/tissue engineering research. Although other recent titles have provided treatments of nanomaterials in biomedical engineering more broadly (e.g., in drug delivery, imaging, and tissue engineering) or more broadly addressed nanotechnology (not just nanomaterials) in tissue engineering, the present contribution remains firmly focused on the challenges and opportunities of nanomaterials applied in tissue engineering.
Those new to the fields may benefit from approaching this fairly advanced text after foundational reading of primers in biomaterials, nanomaterials, or tissue engineering. But non-experts who want to jump right will likely find much of the material accessible, thanks both to a helpful introductory chapter and to repetition of themes throughout the subsequent, more focused, chapters.
Although the organization of the content by application in soft and hard tissues provides a useful, application-focused, structure to the text, an unfortunate by-product of the organization is that readers relatively new to the field may find it difficult to identify or follow other key themes in nanomaterials and/or tissue engineering. For example, themes common to material types (metals vs. ceramics vs. polymers) may be obscured by the application-focused approach. Nevertheless, the text is worth a look by both experts and those new to this exciting research interface.
Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering, Syracuse Biomaterials Institute, Syracuse University