Photo of Jianyu Li

Nanotechnology & materials

Jianyu Li

He makes biological materials closer to human tissue

Year Honored


During the aging of the human body, soft tissues such as joints and intervertebral discs are more prone to problems. Current treatments usually use materials such as metal and plastic to implant into the body to repair or replace damaged soft tissue.

Jianyu Li, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at McGill University in Canada, has adopted transdisciplinary approaches with his team by synergizing principles in mechanics, chemistry, biomimetics and bioengineering to invent novel biomaterials with unprecedented properties. His achievements include high-strength bio-glue used to replace surgical sutures to close wounds, high-performance bionic implant materials used for articular cartilage and disc repair, and new hemostatic materials used to control major bleeding.

These achievements outperform any existing materials and could improve and enable broad biomedical applications, including strong tissue adhesives to replace sutures and staples, biomimetic implants for cartilage and intervertebral disc repair, and life-saving technology to treat hemorrhage and bleeding complications.

Jianyu Li received his bachelor's degree from Zhejiang University and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. For his post-doctoral degree, Jianyu Li turned to the field of biological materials and biological engineering.

His unique learning process gives him an interdisciplinary background. Through his research, he is it able to develop new materials from an unconventional perspective and method, including studying the nature of biological tissue itself from the perspective of bionics and creating new materials in a multidisciplinary way to reshape the nature of biological tissue itself to meet actual biomedical needs.

In Jianyu Li's mind, it has been nine years since the beginning of his doctoral career, and his research work has been approaching, step by step, the final practical application from the basic research since the beginning. At this stage, Jianyu Li and his team are focusing on the optimization and preclinical testing of these new biomaterials. For the next milestone, they want to push the material technology to clinical transformation and commercial application.