Marine environment is a source of an uncountable variety of chemical compounds with diverse biological activity, which one can barely imagine. Examples can be found in different polysaccharides and unique proteins with adhesive properties, as well as in many secondary metabolites produced by sponges or cephalopods, among others. On the other hand, several marine organisms also exhibit extraordinary structural features, as the hierarchical nacre in the interior of bivalve shells or the biosilica skeleton of the Venus flower sponge.
Inspired by marine organisms, the authors have been deeply enrolled in raising the potential of marine materials for several applications, in particular by creating new marine biomaterials further used in biomedical applications, namely in tissue regeneration approaches .
Emphasis will be given to the membranes developed with marine collagen upon successful crosslinking, squid chitosan scaffolds prepared by freeze-drying using different freezing temperatures into which ATDC5 chondrocyte-like cells were able to adhere and proliferate and composite scaffolds prepared by aggregation of particles previously prepared with squid chitosan and nanohydroxiapatite in which human adipose derived stem cells were successfully cultured. Moreover, the collagenous structure of marine sponges will be also presented as natural made scaffolds, an example of marine bioinspiration.
Acknowledgements: The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° KBBE-2010-266033 (project SPECIAL) and from FEDER through POCTEP Project 0330_IBEROMARE_1_P and Atlantic Area Cooperation Programme Project MARMED. Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology is also gratefully acknowledged for post-doc grant of THS.
 Silva, T.H.; Alves, A.; Ferreira, B.M.; Oliveira, J.M.; Reys, L.L.; Ferreira, R.J.F.; Sousa, R.A.; Silva, S.S.; Mano, J.F.; Reis, R.L., International Materials Reviews 57 (2012), 276-306.