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Materiomics is defined as the holistic study of material systems. Materiomics examines links between physiochemical material properties and material characteristics and function. The focus of materiomics is system functionality and behavior, rather than a piecewise collection of properties, a paradigm similar to systems biology. While typically applied to complex biological systems and biomaterials, materiomics is equally applicable to non-biological systems. Materiomics investigates the material properties of natural and synthetic materials by examining fundamental links between processes, structures and properties at multiple scales, from nano to macro, by using systematic experimental, theoretical or computational methods.

The term has been independently proposed with slightly different definitions by T. Akita et al. (AIST/Japan[1]), Markus J. Buehler (MIT/USA[2][3]), and Clemens van Blitterswijk, Jan de Boer and H. Unadkat (University of Twente/The Netherlands[4]) in analogy to genomics, the study of an organism's entire genome. Similarly, materiomics refers to the study of the processes, structures and properties of materials from a fundamental, systematic perspective by incorporating all relevant scales, from nano to macro, in the synthesis and function of materials and structures. The integrated view of these interactions at all scales is referred to as a material's materiome.[5]

Materiomics includes the study of a broad range of materials, which includes metals, ceramics and polymers as well as biological materials and tissues and their interaction with synthetic materials. Materiomics finds applications in elucidating the biological role of materials in biology, for instance in the progression and diagnosis or the treatment of diseases.[6] Others have proposed to apply materiomics concepts to help identify new material platforms for tissue engineering applications,[7] for instance for the de novo development of biomaterials. Materiomics might also hold promises for nanoscience and nanotechnology, where the understanding of material concepts at multiple scales could enable the bottom-up development of new structures and materials or devices, including biomimetic and bioinspired structures.

The understanding of the materiome is still at its infancy, as the role of the relationship between processes, structures and properties of materials in particular in biological organisms is thus far only partially explored and understood. Approaches in studying the materiome include multi-scale simulation methods (e.g. molecular dynamics), multi-scale experiments (e.g. AFM, optical tweezers, dual polarisation interferometry, nanoindentation, micromechanics, etc.) as well as high-throughput methods based on combination of these techniques.

Materiomics is related to proteomics, where the difference is the focus on material properties, stability, failure and mechanistic insight into multi-scale phenomena. Materiomics is the result of the convergence of engineering and materials science with experimental and computational biology in the context of natural and synthetic materials. The impact of materiomics is the establishment of fundamental advances in our understanding of structure–property–process relations of biological systems contribute to the mechanistic understanding of certain diseases and facilitate the development of novel biological, biologically inspired, and completely synthetic materials for applications in medicine (biomaterials), nanotechnology, and engineering.


  • OpenMateriomics [8] A website dedicated to increasing awareness about the value of materiomics in life science research.


  • Materiomics: High-Throughput Screening of Biomaterial Properties [9]
  • Biomateriomics [10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]: Akita, T., Ueda, A., et al. Analytical TEM Observations of Combinatorial Catalyst Libraries for Hydrogen Production—As a Part of "MATERIOMICS", Materials Research Society Proceedings, Vol. 804, 2004
  2. ^ [2]: Buehler, M.J., Keten, S. Elasticity, strength and resilience: A comparative study on mechanical signatures of α-Helix, β-sheet and tropocollagen domains. Nano Research, Vol. 1(1), pp. 63-71, 2008 (May, 2008)
  3. ^ [3]: Buehler, M.J., Keten, S., Ackbarow, T. Theoretical and computational hierarchical nanomechanics of protein materials: Deformation and fracture. Progress in Materials Science, Vol. 53(8), pp. 1101-1241, 2008 (November, 2008)
  4. ^ [4]: Clemens van Blitterswijk et al. Materiomics: dealing with complexity in Tissue Engineering, press release on (July 7, 2008).
  5. ^ [5] S. Cranford, M.J. Buehler, Biomateriomics, 2012 (Springer, New York)
  6. ^ [6] S. Cranford, M. Buehler, Materiomics: biological protein materials, from nano to macro, Nanotechnology, Science and Applications, Vol. 3, pp. 127–148, 2010
  7. ^ [7]: Unadkat, H. V., et al. An algorithm-based topographical biomaterials library to instruct cell fate, PNAS, 108(40), 16565-16570, 2011

Other References[edit]

  • [11]: Buehler, M.J., Materiomics: Materials Science of Biological Protein Materials, from Nano to Macro. The A to Z of Materials. (February, 2010).
  • [12] Going nature one better (MIT News Release, October 22, 2010).
  • [13] M.J. Buehler, Tu(r)ning weakness to strength, Vol. 5(5), pp. 379–383, 2010.
  • [14] D.I. Spivak, T. Giesa, E. Wood, M.J. Buehler, Category Theoretic Analysis of Hierarchical Protein Materials and Social Networks, PLoS ONE, Vol. 6(9), pp. e23911, 2011. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023911
  • [15] T. Giesa, D. Spivak, M.J. Buehler, Reoccurring Patterns in Hierarchical Protein Materials and Music: The Power of Analogies, BioNanoScience, Vol. 1(4), pp. 153–161, 2011, doi:10.1007/s12668-011-0022-5