Next Article in Journal
Hydrogel Micro-/Nanosphere Coated by a Lipid Bilayer: Preparation and Microscopic Probing
Next Article in Special Issue
A Bioactive Hydrogel and 3D Printed Polycaprolactone System for Bone Tissue Engineering
Previous Article in Journal
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Gels in 2016
Previous Article in Special Issue
Bioresponsive Hydrogels: Chemical Strategies and Perspectives in Tissue Engineering
Open AccessReview

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

Department of Chemistry, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
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)
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
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

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

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Back to TopTop