Extremely strong and tough hydrogels as prospective candidates for tissue repair

last updated: 2016-03-23
TitleExtremely strong and tough hydrogels as prospective candidates for tissue repair
Publication TypeReview Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsCosta A. M. S., and Mano J. F.
Abstract Text

Ideal candidates for the repair of robust biological tissues should exhibit diverse features such as biocompatibility, strength, toughness, self-healing ability and a well-defined structure. Among the available biomaterials, hydrogels, as highly hydrated 3D-crosslinked polymeric networks, are promising for Tissue Engineering purposes as result of their high resemblance with native extracellular matrix. However, these polymeric structures often exhibit a poor mechanical behavior, hampering their use in load-bearing applications. During the last years, several efforts have been made to create new strategies and concepts to fabricate strong and tough hydrogels. Although it is already possible to shape the mechanical properties of artificial hydrogels to mimic biotissues, critical issues regarding, for instance, their biocompatibility and hierarchical structure are often neglected. Therefore, this review covers the structural and mechanical characteristics of the developed methodologies to toughen hydrogels, highlighting some pioneering efforts employed to combine the aforementioned properties in natural-based hydrogels.

JournalEuropean Polymer Journal
Date Published2015-07-28
PublisherElsevier Ltd.
Keywordsnatural polymers, Self-healing, soft tissues, Tough and strong hydrogels, Well-defined architectures
Peer reviewedyes

Back to top