Biomolecule-Responsive Hydrogels in Medicine

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Abstract

Recent advances and applications of biomolecule-responsive hydrogels, namely, glucose-responsive hydrogels, protein-responsive hydrogels, and nucleic-acid-responsive hydrogels are highlighted. However, achieving the ultimate purpose of using biomolecule-responsive hydrogels in preclinical and clinical areas is still at the very early stage and calls for more novel designing concepts and advance ideas. On the way toward the real/clinical application of biomolecule-responsive hydrogels, plenty of factors should be extensively studied and examined under both in vitro and in vivo conditions. For example, biocompatibility, biointegration, and toxicity of biomolecule-responsive hydrogels should be carefully evaluated. From the living body's point of view, biocompatibility is seriously depended on the interactions at the tissue/polymer interface. These interactions are influenced by physical nature, chemical structure, surface properties, and degradation of the materials. In addition, the developments of advanced hydrogels with tunable biological and mechanical properties which cause no/low side effects are of great importance.

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