Reviewed by Eduardo Mendes
Z Zhang ed.
“Switchable and Responsive Surfaces and Materials for Biomedical Applications” is a book that presents in depth reviews of state of the art responsive mechanisms of materials and surfaces that find applications in the biomedical field. Besides presenting complete reviews, it is written in a very didactical way with every chapter providing readers with a smooth transition from basics to more complex systems. Along the book, chapters are structured in a very interesting manner starting with most common bulk responsive polymers and systematically moving to surfaces and more complex responsive mechanisms (Part One) until detailed biomedical applications are discussed (Part Two).
Part One, “Switchable and responsive materials and surfaces”, starts with classic thermo-responsive polymers (Chapter 1) where main concepts and mechanisms of thermo-responsiveness are defined. The book then moves forward to polyelectrolytes and zwitterionc polymers in Chapter 2 expanding the basic concepts of the previous chapter in a natural way. These first two chapters set the basis for chapter 3 that deals with peptide based responsive surfaces. The use of responsive surfaces as sensing devices is then elaborated in chapter 4. In this chapter, examples of photonic sensitive materials are discussed as well as their use as optical switches and optobioelectronic devices and biosensors. The basics of responsive polymer brushes are considered in chapter 5 and further expanded in chapter 6 that deals with their biomedical applications such as cell adhesion and detachment.
Part Two, “Biological interactions and biomedical applications of switchable surfaces” starts with the interactions of responsive systems with biomolecules (Chapter 7) and living cells in the context of cell control and tissue engineering (Chapters 8 and 9). Stimuli-sensitive polymers for drug delivery and diagnostics are discussed in Chapter 10 where molecular responsive mechanisms (temperature, pH, enzymatic,..) as well as external stimuli (temperature, near infrared light, ultrasound, magnetic field,…) are considered. Chapter 11 on “Applications of responsive polymers for implantable medical devices and biosensors” closes the book with various examples that cover many applications ranging from cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory and surgical devices to dental, orthopedic and insulin delivery devices.
In resume, this is an excellent book that provides in depth review of responsive materials and surfaces of biomedical applications in a very didactic way, serving as a reference for those working in the field as well as for those who are moving into such area of research.