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Gels 2017, 3(1), 6; doi:10.3390/gels3010006

Hydrogels for Biomedical Applications: Their Characteristics and the Mechanisms behind Them

Department of Chemistry, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA
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Academic Editor: David Díaz Díaz
Received: 16 August 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 24 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogels in Tissue Engineering)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1223 KB, uploaded 24 January 2017]   |  

Abstract

Hydrogels are hydrophilic, three-dimensional networks that are able to absorb large quantities of water or biological fluids, and thus have the potential to be used as prime candidates for biosensors, drug delivery vectors, and carriers or matrices for cells in tissue engineering. In this critical review article, advantages of the hydrogels that overcome the limitations from other types of biomaterials will be discussed. Hydrogels, depending on their chemical composition, are responsive to various stimuli including heating, pH, light, and chemicals. Two swelling mechanisms will be discussed to give a detailed understanding of how the structure parameters affect swelling properties, followed by the gelation mechanism and mesh size calculation. Hydrogels prepared from natural materials such as polysaccharides and polypeptides, along with different types of synthetic hydrogels from the recent reported literature, will be discussed in detail. Finally, attention will be given to biomedical applications of different kinds of hydrogels including cell culture, self-healing, and drug delivery. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogels; biomaterials; drug delivery; self-healing; cell culture hydrogels; biomaterials; drug delivery; self-healing; cell culture
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Chai, Q.; Jiao, Y.; Yu, X. Hydrogels for Biomedical Applications: Their Characteristics and the Mechanisms behind Them. Gels 2017, 3, 6.

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