International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Hydrogels from biopolymers are readily synthesized, can possess various characteristics for different applications, and have been widely used in biomedicine to help with patient treatments and outcomes. Polysaccharides, polypeptides, and nucleic acids can be produced into hydrogels, each for unique purposes depending on their qualities. Examples of polypeptide hydrogels include collagen, gelatin, and elastin, and polysaccharide hydrogels include alginate, cellulose, and glycosaminoglycan. Many different theories have been formulated to research hydrogels, which include Flory-Rehner theory, Rubber Elasticity Theory, and the calculation of porosity and pore size. All these theories take into consideration enthalpy, entropy, and other thermodynamic variables so that the structure and pore sizes of hydrogels can be formulated. Hydrogels can be fabricated in a straightforward process using a homogeneous mixture of different chemicals, depending on the intended purpose of the gel. Different types of hydrogels exist which include pH-sensitive gels, thermogels, electro-sensitive gels, and light-sensitive gels and each has its unique biomedical applications including structural capabilities, regenerative repair, or drug delivery. Major biopolymer-based hydrogels used for cell delivery include encapsulated skeletal muscle cells, osteochondral muscle cells, and stem cells being delivered to desired locations for tissue regeneration. Some examples of hydrogels used for drug and biomolecule delivery include insulin encapsulated hydrogels and hydrogels that encompass cancer drugs for desired controlled release. This review summarizes these newly developed biopolymer-based hydrogel materials that have been mainly made since 2015 and have shown to work and present more avenues for advanced medical applications.
Mahmood, A.; Patel, D.; Hickson, B.; DesRochers, J.; Hu, X. Recent Progress in Biopolymer-Based Hydrogel Materials for Biomedical Applications. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23, 1415. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23031415
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