This review article focuses on thermoresponsive hydrogels consisting of poloxamers which are of high interest for biomedical application especially in drug delivery for ophthalmic, injectable, transdermal, and vaginal administration. These hydrogels remain fluid at room temperature but become more viscous gel once they are exposed to body temperature. In this way, the gelling system remains at the topical level for a long time and the drug release is controlled and prolonged. Poloxamers are synthetic triblock copolymers of poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(propylene oxide)-b-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO-PPO-PEO), also commercially known as Pluronics®
. The different poloxamers cover a range of liquids, pastes, and solids, with molecular weights and ethylene oxide–propylene oxide weight ratios varying from 1100 to 14,000 and 1:9 to 8:2, respectively. Concentrated aqueous solutions of poloxamers form thermoreversible gels. In recent years this type of gel has arouse interest for tissue engineering. Finally, the use of poloxamers as biosurfactants is evaluated since they are able to form micelles in an aqueous environment above a concentration threshold known as critical micelle concentration (CMC). This property is exploited for drug delivery and different therapeutic applications.
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