Stimuli-Responsive Supramolecular Hydrogels and Their Applications in Regenerative Medicine.
Supramolecular hydrogels are a class of self-assembled network structures formed via non-covalent interactions of the hydrogelators. These hydrogels capable of responding to external stimuli are considered to be smart materials due to their ability to undergo sol-gel and/or gel-sol transition upon subtle changes in their surroundings. Such stimuli-responsive hydrogels are intriguing biomaterials with applications in tissue engineering, delivery of cells and drugs, modulating tissue environment to promote innate tissue repair, and imaging for medical diagnostics among others. This review summarizes the recent developments in stimuli-responsive supramolecular hydrogels and their potential applications in regenerative medicine. Specifically, various structural aspects of supramolecular hydrogelators involved in self-assembly, the role of external stimuli in tuning/controlling their phase transitions, and how these functions could be harnessed to advance applications in regenerative medicine are focused on. Finally, the key challenges and future prospects for these versatile materials are briefly described.
Hoque, J; Sangaj, N; Varghese, S
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