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Recent Advances in the Synthesis and Biomedical Applications of Nanocomposite Hydrogels

Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Calabria, I-87036 Rende, Italy
Children’s Cancer Institute Australia, Lowy Cancer Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2052, Australia
Australian Centre for Nanomedicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2052, Australia
Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research, PF 270116, D-01171 Dresden, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yvonne Perrie
Pharmaceutics 2015, 7(4), 413-437;
Received: 31 July 2015 / Revised: 7 September 2015 / Accepted: 30 September 2015 / Published: 13 October 2015
PDF [974 KB, uploaded 13 October 2015]


Hydrogels sensitive to electric current are usually made of polyelectrolytes and undergo erosion, swelling, de-swelling or bending in the presence of an applied electric field. The electrical conductivity of many polymeric materials used for the fabrication of biomedical devices is not high enough to achieve an effective modulation of the functional properties, and thus, the incorporation of conducting materials (e.g., carbon nanotubes and nanographene oxide) was proposed as a valuable approach to overcome this limitation. By coupling the biological and chemical features of both natural and synthetic polymers with the favourable properties of carbon nanostructures (e.g., cellular uptake, electromagnetic and magnetic behaviour), it is possible to produce highly versatile and effective nanocomposite materials. In the present review, the recent advances in the synthesis and biomedical applications of electro-responsive nanocomposite hydrogels are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon nanotubes; graphene; composite hydrogels; electro-responsive carbon nanotubes; graphene; composite hydrogels; electro-responsive

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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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Spizzirri, U.G.; Curcio, M.; Cirillo, G.; Spataro, T.; Vittorio, O.; Picci, N.; Hampel, S.; Iemma, F.; Nicoletta, F.P. Recent Advances in the Synthesis and Biomedical Applications of Nanocomposite Hydrogels. Pharmaceutics 2015, 7, 413-437.

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