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25th Anniversary Article: Supramolecular Materials for Regenerative Medicine



In supramolecular materials, molecular building blocks are designed to interact with one another via non-covalent interactions in order to create function. This offers the opportunity to create structures similar to those found in living systems that combine order and dynamics through the reversibility of intermolecular bonds. For regenerative medicine there is a great need to develop materials that signal cells effectively, deliver or bind bioactive agents in vivo at controlled rates, have highly tunable mechanical properties, but at the same time, can biodegrade safely and rapidly after fulfilling their function. These requirements make supramolecular materials a great platform to develop regenerative therapies. This review illustrates the emerging science of these materials and their use in a number of applications for regenerative medicine.