Introduction

Large-scale manufacturing, using highly automated and controlled fabrication processes, achieves consistency, reliability, and low cost, which have been the keys to mass-produce many important inventions in modern history. For example, the mass production of transistors led to the creation of integrated circuits (ICs), serving as the foundation of modern electronics, computers, and the Internet; the use of assembly lines with standardized parts revolutionized the automobile industry and fostered a century of economical, personalized transportation. The promise of modern therapeutics such as penicillin was realized through large-scale fermentation processes, and saved millions of lives. Over the last few decades, many aspects of manufacturing have undergone tremendous development such as the miniaturization of electronic components to the nanometer length scale, enabling as many as

150 million transistors in a computer processor (nanofabrication) [1], the control and precision of machining down to the micro- and nanoscale (nanomachining) [2], and the development of methods to engineer bioprocesses and bioproducts (biotechnology) [3]. The convergence of these formerly disparate endeavors is currently spawning a new discipline, bionanomanufacturing, which addresses the manipulation of and fabrication with biological and biomimetic molecules at the nanometer length scale. Bionanomanufacturing seeks to create novel molecular ensembles and devices by mass production, and attempts to integrate inorganic and organic components to create new properties and functions.

The significance and impact of bionanomanufacturing arise from several facts: (1) nanostructured materials often exhibit unique chemical, mechanical, electrical, magnetic, thermal, and optical properties that are dramatically different from those of their bulk counterparts [4], (2) miniaturization of diagnostic, therapeutic, and surgical devices allows mass production of low-cost, portable, modular biomedical devices with improved sensitivity, speed, and precision [5], (3) serial assembly of biological components with predefined functions enables the fabrication of sophisticated, self-sufficient, self-regulated, and adaptive systems [6,7], (4) high-throughput, massively parallel experimentation enables the interrogation of complex biology at genomic and proteomic levels [8-10], and (5) biological materials and systems are often governed by nanoscale properties and processes [11,12], which provide a new set of tools and building blocks for bionanomanufacturing. The field of bionanomanufacturing is growing rapidly with applications in biosensing [13-16], biomedical imaging [17-19], molecular therapeutics [20,21], drug delivery [22-24], and bioinspired nanomaterials [4,25-27]. In this chapter, recent developments and advancements in bionanofabrication will be highlighted, and the significance and challenges of taking bionanofabrication to the next level, bionanomanufacturing, will be discussed through a review of recent research.

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