The study and applications of ferroelectric materials in the biomedical and biotechnological fields is a novel and very promising scientific area that spans roughly one decade. However, some groups have already provided experimental proof of very interesting biological modulation when living systems are exposed to different ferroelectrics and excitation mechanisms. These materials should offer several advantages in the field of bioelectricity, such as no need of an external electric power source or circuits, scalable size of the electroactive regions, flexible and reconfigurable "virtual electrodes," or fully proved biocompatibility. In this focused review, we provide the underlying physics of ferroelectric activity and a recount of the research reports already published, along with some tentative biophysical mechanisms that can explain the observed results. More specifically, we focus on the biological actions of domain ferroelectrics and ferroelectrics excited by the bulk photovoltaic effect or the pyroelectric effect. It is our goal to provide a comprehensive account of the published material so far and to set the stage for a vigorous expansion of the field, with envisioned applications that span from cell biology and signaling to cell and tissue regeneration, antitumoral action, or cell bioengineering to name a few.
Applied Physics Reviews
- Pub Date:
- December 2018
- Quantitative Biology - Quantitative Methods;
- Quantitative Biology - Cell Behavior
- 39 pages, 10 figures, 3 tables, 127 references, publication year 2018