Tremendous progress has been made in the past decade regarding our understanding of the gut microbiome’s role in human health. Currently, however, a comprehensive and focused review marrying the two distinct fields of gut microbiome and material research is lacking. To bridge the gap, the current paper discusses critical aspects of the rapidly emerging research topic of “material engineering in the gut microbiome and human health.” By engaging scientists with diverse backgrounds in biomaterials, gut-microbiome axis, neuroscience, synthetic biology, tissue engineering, and biosensing in a dialogue, our goal is to accelerate the development of research tools for gut microbiome research and the development of therapeutics that target the gut microbiome. For this purpose, state-of-the-art knowledge is presented here on biomaterial technologies that facilitate the study, analysis, and manipulation of the gut microbiome, including intestinal organoids, gut-on-chip models, hydrogels for spatial mapping of gut microbiome compositions, microbiome biosensors, and oral bacteria delivery systems. In addition, a discussion is provided regarding the microbiome-gut-brain axis and the critical roles that biomaterials can play to investigate and regulate the axis. Lastly, perspectives are provided regarding future directions on how to develop and use novel biomaterials in gut microbiome research, as well as essential regulatory rules in clinical translation. In this way, we hope to inspire research into future biomaterial technologies to advance gut microbiome research and gut microbiome-based theragnostics.
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