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Supramolecular Hydrogels: Design Strategies and Contemporary Biomedical Applications

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jasmin Omar, Daniel Ponsford, Cecile Dreiss, Tung-Chun Lee, Xian Jun Loh

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202200081
Pages (from-to)1-25
JournalChemistry – An Asian Journal
Issue number9
Early online date19 Mar 2022
E-pub ahead of print19 Mar 2022
Published19 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: Jasmin Omar obtained her MPharm degree from King's College London (KCL) in 2018. She went on to complete her pre-registration year in hospital and qualified as a pharmacist in 2019. She is currently pursuing her PhD in pharmaceutical and material science at KCL and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. She is supervised by Dr. C?cile A. Dreiss and Prof. Xian Jun Loh and her research project focuses on temperature-responsive hydrogels as vitreous substitutes. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 Wiley-VCH GmbH.

King's Authors


Self-assembly of supramolecular hydrogels is driven by dynamic, non-covalent interactions between molecules. Considerable research effort has been exerted to fabricate and optimise supramolecular hydrogels that display shear-thinning, self-healing, and reversibility, in order to develop materials for biomedical applications. This review provides a detailed overview of the chemistry behind the dynamic physicochemical interactions that sustain hydrogel formation (hydrogen bonding, hydrophobic interactions, ionic interactions, metal-ligand coordination, and host-guest interactions). Novel design strategies and methodologies to create supramolecular hydrogels are highlighted, which offer promise for a wide range of applications, specifically drug delivery, wound healing, tissue engineering and 3D bioprinting. To conclude, future prospects are briefly discussed, and consideration given to the steps required to ultimately bring these biomaterials into clinical settings.

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