Hydrogels: Properties and Applications in Biomedicine

Tzu Chuan Ho, Chin Chuan Chang, Hung Pin Chan, Tze Wen Chung, Chih Wen Shu, Kuo Pin Chuang, Tsai Hui Duh, Ming Hui Yang*, Yu Chang Tyan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hydrogels are crosslinked polymer chains with three-dimensional (3D) network structures, which can absorb relatively large amounts of fluid. Because of the high water content, soft structure, and porosity of hydrogels, they closely resemble living tissues. Research in recent years shows that hydrogels have been applied in various fields, such as agriculture, biomaterials, the food industry, drug delivery, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine. Along with the underlying technology improvements of hydrogel development, hydrogels can be expected to be applied in more fields. Although not all hydrogels have good biodegradability and biocompatibility, such as synthetic hydrogels (polyvinyl alcohol, polyacrylamide, polyethylene glycol hydrogels, etc.), their biodegradability and biocompatibility can be adjusted by modification of their functional group or incorporation of natural polymers. Hence, scientists are still interested in the biomedical applications of hydrogels due to their creative adjustability for different uses. In this review, we first introduce the basic information of hydrogels, such as structure, classification, and synthesis. Then, we further describe the recent applications of hydrogels in 3D cell cultures, drug delivery, wound dressing, and tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2902
JournalMolecules
Volume27
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2022

Keywords

  • 3D cell culture
  • drug delivery
  • hydrogel
  • medical application
  • tissue engineering
  • wound dressing

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