From Stem Cell Research to Gene Delivery and the Growing Importance of Asia


We are looking back on an exciting year. In 2011, we have seen a growing impact of Asian contributions in Macromolecular Bioscience. Roughly one third of all published articles came from China, South Korea, and Japan. Eight contributions from these Asian countries were featured on the cover of Macromolecular Bioscience during that year, with a majority from South Korea. Being aware of this ongoing trend, I followed an invitation to attend a conference in China, the 10thChina-Korea-Japan Foresight Symposium on Gene Delivery. Invited by our respected board member Tae Gwan Park, who tragically passed away a few weeks before the conference, I travelled to Guilin in the south of China. In addition to Xuesi Chen from Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry (board member of Macromolecular Bioscience and chairman of the organizing committee in Guilin), I met other board members: Chi Wu (Hong Kong, China) and Glen Prestwich (Salt Lake City, USA) as well as important authors of the journal including Jan Feijen, Wim Henning, Teruo Okano, Karel Ulbrich, and many more. The three main topics covered at the conference in Guilin – gene delivery, drug delivery, and tissue engineering – are also well presented among the most downloaded articles of 2011 (see Table 1).

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Table 1. Most accessed articles (published in Macromolecular Bioscience in 2011).
Reconstructing the Differentiation Niche of Embryonic Stem Cells Using BiomaterialsSharon Gerecht et al.
Self-Assembly Strategy for the Preparation of Polymer-Based Nanoparticles for Drug and Gene DeliverySi-Xue Cheng et al.
Methylene Blue-Conjugated Hydrogel Nanoparticles and Tumor-Cell Targeted Photodynamic TherapyRaoul Kopelman et al.
Multi-Featured Macroporous Agarose–Alginate Cryogel: Synthesis and Characterization for Bioengineering ApplicationsAshok Kumar et al.
Biodegradable Elastomers for Tissue Engineering and Cell–Biomaterial InteractionsChristopher J. Bettinger et al.
Advances in Mucoadhesion and Mucoadhesive PolymersVitaliy V. Khutoryanskiy et al.
Proteins, Lipids, and Water in the Gas PhaseDavid van der Spoel et al.
Effect of Sterilization on Non-woven Polyethylene Terephthalate Fiber Structures for Vascular GraftsMartin N. Bureau et al.
Affinity-Based Drug DeliveryHorst A. von Recum et al.
Coating Electrospun Chitosan Nanofibers with Polyelectrolyte Multilayers Using the Polysaccharides Heparin and N,N,N-Trimethyl ChitosanMatt J. Kipper et al.

Another important topic is found several times among the most accessed articles is related to stem cell research. Three of the most downloaded contributions are published within our special article series on “Advanced Polymers for Stem Cell Research” (see This series is guest-edited by Suwan Jayasinghe (London, UK) and will also be continued in 2012.

Last but not least, I would like to use this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to a successful year for Macromolecular Bioscience, in which we reached the highest ISI Impact Factor in the history of the journal with a value of 3.458. Creative ideas and critical feedback from our board members and reviewers are as essential as the fascinating research of our authors. With this, I am looking forward to another exciting year for Macromolecular Bioscience.

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Kirsten Severing