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Adv Mater. 2017 Nov;29(44). doi: 10.1002/adma.201702859. Epub 2017 Oct 11.

Therapeutic-Gas-Responsive Hydrogel.

Park J1,2, Pramanick S1,2, Park D1,2, Yeo J1,2, Lee J1,2, Lee H3, Kim WJ1,2.

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Center for Self-Assembly and Complexity, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Pohang, 37673, Republic of Korea.
Department of Chemistry, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Pohang, 37673, Republic of Korea.
Department of Chemistry, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), 291 University Rd, Daejeon, 34141, Republic of Korea.


Nitric oxide (NO) is a crucial signaling molecule with various functions in physiological systems. Due to its potent biological effect, the preparation of responsive biomaterials upon NO having temporally transient properties is a challenging task. This study represents the first therapeutic-gas (i.e., NO)-responsive hydrogel by incorporating a NO-cleavable crosslinker. The hydrogel is rapidly swollen in response to NO, and not to other gases. Furthermore, the NO-responsive gel is converted to enzyme-responsive gels by cascade reactions from an enzyme to NO production for which the NO precursor is a substrate of the enzyme. The application of the hydrogel as a NO-responsive drug-delivery system is proved here by revealing effective protein drug release by NO infusion, and the hydrogel is also shown to be swollen by the NO secreted from the cultured cells. The NO-responsive hydrogel may prove useful in many applications, for example drug-delivery vehicles, inflammation modulators, and as a tissue scaffold.


gas-absorbing materials; hydrogels; nitric oxide; stimuli-responsive materials


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