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Stimuli-Responsive Cationic Hydrogels in Drug Delivery Applications

1
Soft Materials Laboratory, Natural Sciences and Science Education AG, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, 1-Nanyang Walk, Singapore 637616, Singapore
2
Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, 2-Fusionopolis Way, Singapore 138634, Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli-Responsive Gels)
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Abstract

Stimuli-responsive, smart, intelligent, or environmentally sensitive polymers respond to changes in external stimuli such as pH, temperature, ionic strength, surfactants, pressure, light, biomolecules, and magnetic field. These materials are developed in various network architectures such as block copolymers, crosslinked hydrogels, nanogels, inter-penetrating networks, and dendrimers. Stimuli-responsive cationic polymers and hydrogels are an interesting class of “smart” materials that respond reversibly to changes in external pH. These materials have the ability to swell extensively in solutions of acidic pH and de-swell or shrink in solutions of alkaline pH. This reversible swelling-shrinking property brought about by changes in external pH conditions makes these materials useful in a wide range of applications such as drug delivery systems and chemical sensors. This article focuses mainly on the properties of these interesting materials and their applications in drug delivery systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: cationic polymers; hydrogels; stimuli-responsive; heterocyclic; swelling of gels; drug-delivery systems cationic polymers; hydrogels; stimuli-responsive; heterocyclic; swelling of gels; drug-delivery systems
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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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Deen, G.R.; Loh, X.J. Stimuli-Responsive Cationic Hydrogels in Drug Delivery Applications. Gels 2018, 4, 13.

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