Gels and hydrogels

Gels are materials composed of a three-dimensional crosslinked polymer or colloidal network immersed in a fluid. They are usually soft and weak, but can be made hard and tough. Hydrogels are gels that have water as their main constituent.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Reviews |

    This review summarizes the successful development and commercialization of a superabsorbent polymer (SAP) using iodine transfer polymerization (ITP). We found that the overall absorption performance of the SAP was improved by applying ITP and that this improvement was related to the homogenization of the polymer network. This innovation enables the quick response to diversified customer needs in the diaper industry. We believe that this achievement will contribute to improving the quality of life of people around the world.

    • Toru Miyajima
    • , Yusuke Matsubara
    • , Hiroto Komatsu
    • , Michihiko Miyamoto
    •  & Kazumitsu Suzuki
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Different models are believed to be the reason for the superior mechanical properties of spider silk. Here, the authors prepare artificial spider silk by water-evaporation-induced self-assembly of a hydrogel fibre made from polyacrylic acid and silica nanoparticles.

    • Yuanyuan Dou
    • , Zhen-Pei Wang
    • , Wenqian He
    • , Tianjiao Jia
    • , Zhuangjian Liu
    • , Pingchuan Sun
    • , Kai Wen
    • , Enlai Gao
    • , Xiang Zhou
    • , Xiaoyu Hu
    • , Jingjing Li
    • , Shaoli Fang
    • , Dong Qian
    •  & Zunfeng Liu
  • Research
    | Open Access

    The dual-adhesive and bioactive hydrogel ‍is designed and prepared for wound closure and wound healing by incorporation of bioglass into oxidized sodium alginate (OSA) hydrogel system, in which the multifunctional ions released from bioglass play a key role for the dual-adhessiveness to both tissues and implantable materials and bioactivity in enhancing angiogenesis during wound healing.

    • Long Gao
    • , Yanling Zhou
    • , Jinliang Peng
    • , Chen Xu
    • , Qing Xu
    • , Min Xing
    •  & Jiang Chang
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Specific sequences are essential for the development of cationic polymers that can adhere to negatively charged surfaces in saline environments. Here, the authors show that copolymers with adjacent cation–aromatic sequences can be synthesized through cation–π complex-aided free-radical polymerization, which exhibit fast, strong, but reversible adhesion.

    • Hailong Fan
    • , Jiahui Wang
    • , Zhen Tao
    • , Junchao Huang
    • , Ping Rao
    • , Takayuki Kurokawa
    •  & Jian Ping Gong
  • Reviews
    | Open Access

    Stimulus-responsive hydrogels, with biocompatibility, sufficient water content, similarity to extracellular matrices, and responses to specific environmental stimuli, have recently received massive research interest for fabricating bioactuators. The potential of employing these hydrogels that respond to various stimuli (e.g., pH, temperature, light, electricity, and magnetic fields) for actuation purposes has been uncovered by their performances in biosensing, drug delivery, artificial muscle reconstruction, and cell microenvironment engineering. In this review, a material selection of stimulus-responsive hydrogels and a detailed discussion of recent advances in emerging biomedical applications of hydrogel-based bioactuators are proposed. Existing challenges and future prospects are noted as well.

    • Qiang Shi
    • , Hao Liu
    • , Deding Tang
    • , Yuhui Li
    • , XiuJun Li
    •  & Feng Xu

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