Mankind has been using available materials to solve health issues since early times. Wood, bone and glass are some of the materials with more ancient reported uses in health. During the 19th century, the development of Chemistry and the progressive advance of Technology allowed researchers to start designing materials specifically for health applications paying attention to design parameters. Nowadays, this multidisciplinary field combines the expertise of biomedical engineers, biologists, chemists, physicists, physicians, and computer scientists, among others, to approach successful strategies to address major health problems in Society.
A biomaterial can be defined as a substance that has been engineered to take a form which, alone or as part of a complex system, is used to direct, by control of interactions with components of living systems, the course of any therapeutic or diagnostic procedure, in human or veterinary medicine. Any biomaterial must satisfy, at least, the requirement of biocompatibility, defined as the ability not to induce toxic or harmful effects and promote adequate cell/tissue responses on the biological system in which is incorporated.
Since her early times as a scientist in training under the wise and kind supervision of Prof. M. Teresa Portolés and Dr. Raffaella Pagani back in 2003, M. Concepción Serrano devotes her research efforts to the design and development of novel biomaterials of varied compositions (since elastomers, bioceramics, natural hydrogels and graphene oxide to iron oxide nanoparticles) for biomedical applications including tissue engineering (neural, bone and cardiovascular), drug delivery and cancer treatment. At presents, one of her main interests is focused on neural tissue engineering with 3D graphene oxide scaffolds and natural hydrogles. Remarkable previous contributions to the field are listed below:
Biodegradable and biocompatible elastomers: Advanced Functional Materials 2010, Advanced Materials 2011, Advanced Functional Materials 2012.
General biocompatility of biomaterials: Biomaterials 2004, Biomaterials 2006, Biomaterials 2009.
Carbon-based biomaterials for neural applications: Progress in Polymer Science 2012, Journal of Materials Chemistry 2014, Advanced Healthcare Materials 2015, Biomaterials 2016.