Polymer–Metal Composite Healthcare Materials: From Nano to Device Scale

Wai Ki Wong, Chun Him Nathanael Lai, Wai Yin Cheng, Lok Him Tung, Raymond Chuen Chung Chang, Franco King Chi Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Metals have been investigated as biomaterials for a wide range of medical applications. At nanoscale, some metals, such as gold nanoparticles, exhibit plasmonics, which have motivated researchers’ focus on biosensor development. At the device level, some metals, such as titanium, exhibit good physical properties, which could allow them to act as biomedical implants for physical support. Despite these attractive features, the non-specific delivery of metallic nanoparticles and poor tissue–device compatibility have greatly limited their performance. This review aims to illustrate the interplay between polymers and metals, and to highlight the pivotal role of polymer–metal composite/nanocomposite healthcare materials in different biomedical applications. Here, we revisit the recent plasmonic engineered platforms for biomolecules detection in cell-free samples and highlight updated nanocomposite design for (1) intracellular RNA detection, (2) photothermal therapy, and (3) nanomedicine for neurodegenerative diseases, as selected significant live cell–interactive biomedical applications. At the device scale, the rational design of polymer–metallic medical devices is of importance for dental and cardiovascular implantation to overcome the poor physical load transfer between tissues and devices, as well as implant compatibility under a dynamic fluidic environment, respectively. Finally, we conclude the treatment of these innovative polymer–metal biomedical composite designs and provide a future perspective on the aforementioned research areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number218
JournalJournal of Composites Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • biomolecules detection
  • cardiovascular stents
  • dental implants
  • healthcare materials
  • intracellular RNA detection
  • neurodegenerative diseases
  • photothermal therapy
  • polymer–metal composites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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