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The emerging interdisciplinary area of biologically inspired network systems research is reviewed. Examples of such systems found in the literature are grouped into two classes: in silico and in vitro/vivo network systems. For each class, background knowledge is provided concerning the biological systems, mechanisms, or materials used, and the manner in which they are applied to the design of the network systems is reviewed. Conclusions are drawn with the aim of providing future challenges for each class of biologically inspired network systems.