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Biotechnol Bioeng. 2014 Mar;111(3):441-53. doi: 10.1002/bit.25160. Epub 2013 Dec 6.

Nanocomposite hydrogels for biomedical applications.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas, 77843.

Abstract

Hydrogels mimic native tissue microenvironment due to their porous and hydrated molecular structure. An emerging approach to reinforce polymeric hydrogels and to include multiple functionalities focuses on incorporating nanoparticles within the hydrogel network. A wide range of nanoparticles, such as carbon-based, polymeric, ceramic, and metallic nanomaterials can be integrated within the hydrogel networks to obtain nanocomposites with superior properties and tailored functionality. Nanocomposite hydrogels can be engineered to possess superior physical, chemical, electrical, and biological properties. This review focuses on the most recent developments in the field of nanocomposite hydrogels with emphasis on biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. In particular, we discuss synthesis and fabrication of nanocomposite hydrogels, examine their current limitations and conclude with future directions in designing more advanced nanocomposite hydrogels for biomedical and biotechnological applications.

KEYWORDS:

biomedical applications; drug delivery; nanocomposite hydrogels; nanoparticles; tissue engineering

PMID:
24264728
PMCID:
PMC3924876
DOI:
10.1002/bit.25160
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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