Remarkable Body Architecture of Marine Sponges as Biomimetic Structure for Application in Tissue Engineering

  • Eva Martins
  • Miguel S. Rocha
  • Tiago H. SilvaEmail author
  • Rui L. Reis
Part of the Springer Series in Biomaterials Science and Engineering book series (SSBSE, volume 14)


Recent advances in the study of marine environment, particularly of marine organisms’ architecture and composition, have isolated interesting compounds as proteins, GAG-like polysaccharides and bioactive compounds. These compounds have allowed the development of panoply of biomaterials inspired by morphological characteristics and anatomical structures of the marine species. Besides, the scientific community acknowledges the enormous biotechnological potential in the marine resources that can be a promising effective and efficient alternative to be used in Human health, namely tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, as well as to support the progress in pharmacological, cosmetic, nutraceutical and biomedical fields. Additionally, sustainable ways are being applied to explore these marine resources and address biomimetic approaches, aiming to take the most out of the astonishing marine environment in ecologically compatible ways. Marine sponges are a particular group of organisms feeding these biotechnological developments for human health, both as source of new drugs or inspiration for the development of marine  biomaterials. This chapter aims to demonstrate, in a concise and clear way, the biotechnological potential of marine sponges used as susceptive bioscaffolds for regenerative medicine and biomedical applications in general.


Marine sponges Skeletons Skeletal elements Spicules Collagen Chitin Biosilica Polyphosphates Biomineralization Tissue engineering Biomimetic materials Biomedical application Bone Marine biomaterials Marine biotechnology 



The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support from Horizon 2020 European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation under project SponGES (H2020-BG-01-2015-679849) and from the European Research Council Advanced Grant ComplexiTE (grant agreement ERC-2012-ADG 20120216-321266).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva Martins
    • 1
    • 2
  • Miguel S. Rocha
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tiago H. Silva
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Rui L. Reis
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.3B’s Research Group, I3Bs—Research Institute on Biomaterials, Biodegradables and BiomimeticsEuropean Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, University of MinhoBarco, GuimarãesPortugal
  2. 2.ICVS/3B’s—PT Government Associate LaboratoryBraga, GuimarãesPortugal
  3. 3.The Discoveries Centre for Regenerative and Precision MedicineUniversity of MinhoBarco, GuimarãesPortugal

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