Citrate chemistry and biology for biomaterials design

Chuying Ma, Ethan Gerhard, Di Lu, Jian Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Leveraging the multifunctional nature of citrate in chemistry and inspired by its important role in biological tissues, a class of highly versatile and functional citrate-based materials (CBBs) has been developed via facile and cost-effective polycondensation. CBBs exhibiting tunable mechanical properties and degradation rates, together with excellent biocompatibility and processability, have been successfully applied in vitro and in vivo for applications ranging from soft to hard tissue regeneration, as well as for nanomedicine designs. We summarize in the review, chemistry considerations for CBBs design to tune polymer properties and to introduce functionality with a focus on the most recent advances, biological functions of citrate in native tissues with the new notion of degradation products as cell modulator highlighted, and the applications of CBBs in wound healing, nanomedicine, orthopedic, cardiovascular, nerve and bladder tissue engineering. Given the expansive evidence for citrate's potential in biology and biomaterial science outlined in this review, it is expected that citrate based materials will continue to play an important role in regenerative engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-400
Number of pages18
StatePublished - Sep 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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