As we come once again to the final issue of the year, I’d like to take a brief look back at 2015, which has been a big year for Materials Today.

Over the last 12 months we’ve seen some new additions to the journal family, in the form of Applied Materials Today and Energy Storage Materials, with each of their first issues already publishing some exciting new research. Spanning chemistry, physics, engineering, and biology; these new titles will help demonstrate the breadth, utility and impact of materials science, through the research they publish.

With the US Air Force Research Lab, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute for Standards and Technology announcing the Materials Science and Engineering Data Challenge, aimed at demonstrating how publicly accessible digital data can be used to advance materials science and engineering knowledge; Materials Today partnered with HPCC Systems to provide packages for training and computation time on the High Performance Computing Cluster to support of community members wishing to enter the challenge. And there's still time to take part!

The Elsevier Materials Science Council launched the Materials in Society lecture series at ICMAT 2015 (the first lectures for which are now available online), to help highlight the role materials science plays in our everyday lives through a series of online lectures that everyone can access, understand and appreciate; and also announced the firstEmbracing Challenge award, to recognize researchers who have overcome difficult circumstances to pursue their research careers.

And of course we welcomed the industry focused titles Reinforced Plastics and Metal Powder Report into the family and website, providing access to news, articles, whitepapers, webinars, and more on the materials industry to the Materials Todaycommunity, which grew to over 150,000 members.

Finally, I’d like to thank all the authors, referees, readers, online community members, and team behind the scenes for all their contributions to Materials Today this year. Next year promises to offer a whole host of new prospects, which I won’t mention further at this point; but keep an eye on the website in 2016 to hear about some very exciting developments.

But before then, we still have one final issue of the journal, this time with a focus on biomaterials. This issues’ cover and Uncovered article discusses hydrogels with specific surface structures for biofabrication applications, in the article Advanced alginate-based hydrogels. In our Comment, Stoyko Fakirov asks whether single polymer composites represent a new class of polymer composites or not, and the need for consistency inComposite materials – is the use of proper definitions important?

On to reviews, Utkan Demirci begins with a look at review recent advances in 3D tumor model generation and highlights directions for future applications in drug testing inEngineering cancer microenvironments for in vitro 3-D tumor models. Next, Jun Lin and co-workers consider inorganic nanoparticle based drug carriers and their role in the future of nanomedicine, in Inorganic nanocarriers for platinum drug delivery. Sticking with nanocarriers, Arun K. Iyer et al. turn to hyper-branched, PAMAM dendrimers, in PAMAM dendrimers as promising nanocarriers for RNAi therapeutics. And in our final biomaterials review of the issue and the year, Hae-Won Kim and colleagues examine current trends and strategies for the design of therapeutically-relevant bone scaffolds, inTherapeutically-relevant aspects in bone repairing and regeneration.

Until next time, and next year, we hope you enjoy this issue of Materials Today.

Read full text on ScienceDirect

DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2015.11.001