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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Biomaterials: Challenges, Characteristics, and Considerations

EBR: What is the role of biomaterials in biopharmaceutical and biomedical applications?

Dr Jeff Daelman: Biomaterials restore function and facilitate healing after injury or disease, and are used in applications including medical implants, tissue regeneration, molecular probes, wound dressings, and biosensors. They provide a physical structure that can be used as a drug delivery system for active pharmaceutical ingredients or other ingredients, or as a scaffold to which cells can attach. However, with such a diverse range of uses, the specific role of biomaterials is application-dependent.

Biomaterials can be natural or synthetic. For cellular applications, such as tissue engineering, we need to consider that the majority of the cells in our body are attached or anchored to an extracellular matrix (ECM). So, ECM-derived biomaterials – such as collagen and its denatured counterpart (gelatin) – can enhance the attachment and migration of cells promoting tissue repair. For that reason, collagen and other natural biomaterials are an ideal starting material thanks to the fact that they are well tolerated, promoting cellular adhesion and subsequent tissue formation to facilitate body integration, while their biodegradability allows for tissue remodelling.

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Dr Jeff Daelman has a bioengineering background and holds a PhD in Applied Biological Sciences. He spent several years working on parenteral process validation at Pfizer, before joining Rousselot. Jeff was instrumental in the commercial success of Rousselot’s ultra-low endotoxin X-Pure® range of biomedical gelatins and he is responsible for the business development of a range of modified gelatins (GelMA and others) with customisable physical and chemical properties for use in a range of applications.
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Dr Jeff Daelman
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