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Hydrogel Biomaterials: A Smart Future?

J. Kopeček
Published 2007 · Materials Science, Medicine

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Hydrogels were the first biomaterials developed for human use. The state-of-the-art and potential for the future are discussed. Recently, new designs have produced mechanically strong synthetic hydrogels. Protein-based hydrogels and hybrid hydrogels containing protein domains present a novel advance; such biomaterials may self-assemble from block or graft copolymers containing biorecognition domains. One of the domains, the coiled coil, ubiquitously found in nature, has been used as an example to demonstrate the developments in the design of smart hydrogels. The application potential of synthetic, protein based, DNA based, and hybrid hydrogels bodes well for the future of this class of biomaterials.
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