Topic Editors

Prof. Dr. Aline F. Miller
Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518055, China

Recent Advances in Hydrogels

Abstract submission deadline
closed (20 July 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (30 September 2023)
Viewed by
7766

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hydrogels are a highly versatile class of biomaterials, and their development and application is evolving at a rapid pace, leading to fast progress in material design, development and application. Hydrogels are 3-D networks of hydrophilic polymers or fibres that can swell and hold a large amount of water. Such a network structure is reminiscent of an extracellular matrix and facilitates the diffusion of various molecules (e.g., drugs, growth factors, molecules) and chemical modifications to control molecular and cellular interactions. From a biophysical standpoint, hydrogels’ structure and properties can be tuned to resemble many properties of all natural tissues. Furthermore, hydrogels can be processed into a number of different material formats (e.g., bulk materials, patches, microneedles, micro/nanoparticles), can be made from molecules of different origin (i.e., synthetic, natural), and can be used for various application routes (e.g., injectable, sprayable, implantable), all of which are accelerating their translation into a broad range of biomedical applications. These features make hydrogels important candidates for many applications including biomedical purposes, such as for drug delivery depots, as tissue engineering scaffolds, bioinks for 3D printing and for biosensors. This Topic welcomes original research as well as review articles that explore either the synthesis, characterisation and/or application of hydrogels within the following broad areas. This Topic seeks high-quality works focusing on the following topics: 

  • Self-assembly;
  • Stimuli-responsive;
  • Structure-property-processing relationships;
  • Peptide, protein, polymer or colloidal hydrogels;
  • Bioinks and 3D-bioprinting;
  • Drug delivery;
  • Tissue Engineering;
  • Tissue regeneration;
  • Drug discovery;
  • Cell therapy;
  • 3D organoids;
  • Disease modelling;
  • Biosensors;
  • Supercapacitor hydrogels.

Prof. Dr. Aline F. Miller
Prof. Dr. Florian J. Stadler
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • hydrogels
  • peptide self-assembly
  • polymeric materials
  • soft solids
  • responsive materials
  • self-healing
  • fibrillar scaffold
  • drug delivery
  • tissue engineering
  • 3D bioprinting
  • bioinks

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Gels
gels
4.6 4.7 2015 11.1 Days CHF 2600
Journal of Composites Science
jcs
3.3 5.0 2017 14.7 Days CHF 1800
Molecules
molecules
4.6 7.4 1996 14.6 Days CHF 2700
Polymers
polymers
5.0 8.0 2009 13.7 Days CHF 2700

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Published Papers (4 papers)

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22 pages, 4519 KiB  
Article
Adsorption of Acid Yellow 23 Dye on Organobentonite/Alginate Hydrogel Beads in a Fixed-Bed Column
by Daniela Rivera-Arenas, Iván F. Macías-Quiroga, María T. Dávila-Arias, Jorge J. Vélez-Upegui and Nancy R. Sanabria-González
J. Compos. Sci. 2023, 7(9), 362; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs7090362 - 30 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1386
Abstract
This research evaluates the use of organoclay/alginate hydrogels in removing Acid Yellow 23 in a fixed-bed column and contributes to the application of these composites in the context of the adsorption of anionic dyes that are present in wastewater. An organobentonite (OBent) was [...] Read more.
This research evaluates the use of organoclay/alginate hydrogels in removing Acid Yellow 23 in a fixed-bed column and contributes to the application of these composites in the context of the adsorption of anionic dyes that are present in wastewater. An organobentonite (OBent) was synthesized and encapsulated in an alginate matrix, using Ca2+ ions as a crosslinking agent. Experiments in fixed-bed columns showed that breakthrough and exhaustion times were longer with increasing bed height, which decreased with increases in flow rate and initial dye concentration. The Thomas, Yoon–Nelson, and Adams–Bohart models were well fitted to the experimental data for the breakthrough curves with high Adj. R2 correlation coefficients and low values of χ2. The theoretical adsorption capacity of the organobentonite/alginate hydrogel calculated from the Thomas model was 0.50 ± 0.01 mg/g (equivalent to 30.97 mg/g OBent), and this was obtained by using a 15 cm (10.10 g) bed height, 1 mL/min flow rate, and a 45 mg/L input dye concentration. The bed was regenerated with a 0.5 M NaOH solution, and the reuse of the saturated column bed was studied for two adsorption–desorption cycles. The results obtained in this study suggest the potential use of an organoclay/alginate hydrogel for the adsorption of pollutants in continuous systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Recent Advances in Hydrogels)
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21 pages, 8422 KiB  
Article
Understanding Gel-Powers: Exploring Rheological Marvels of Acrylamide/Sodium Alginate Double-Network Hydrogels
by Shi-Chang Wang, Shu-Tong Du, Saud Hashmi, Shu-Ming Cui, Ling Li, Stephan Handschuh-Wang, Xuechang Zhou and Florian J. Stadler
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4868; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124868 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1829
Abstract
This study investigates the rheological properties of dual-network hydrogels based on acrylamide and sodium alginate under large deformations. The concentration of calcium ions affects the nonlinear behavior, and all gel samples exhibit strain hardening, shear thickening, and shear densification. The paper focuses on [...] Read more.
This study investigates the rheological properties of dual-network hydrogels based on acrylamide and sodium alginate under large deformations. The concentration of calcium ions affects the nonlinear behavior, and all gel samples exhibit strain hardening, shear thickening, and shear densification. The paper focuses on systematic variation of the alginate concentration—which serves as second network building blocks—and the Ca2+-concentration—which shows how strongly they are connected. The precursor solutions show a typical viscoelastic solution behavior depending on alginate content and pH. The gels are highly elastic solids with only relatively small viscoelastic components, i.e., their creep and creep recovery behavior are indicative of the solid state after only a very short time while the linear viscoelastic phase angles are very small. The onset of the nonlinear regime decreases significantly when closing the second network (alginate) upon adding Ca2+, while at the same time the nonlinearity parameters (Q0, I3/I1, S, T, e3/e1, and v3/v1) increase significantly. Further, the tensile properties are significantly improved by closing the alginate network by Ca2+ at intermediate concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Recent Advances in Hydrogels)
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13 pages, 3486 KiB  
Article
Study on the Degradation of a Semi-Synthetic Lignin–Acrylic Acid Hydrogel with Common Bacteria Found in Natural Attenuation Processes
by Humberto D. Jiménez-Torres, Saira L. Hernández-Olmos, Eire Reynaga-Delgado and Eulogio Orozco-Guareño
Polymers 2023, 15(12), 2588; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15122588 - 6 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1167
Abstract
In this study, lignin was chemically modified to promote hydrogel degradation as a source of carbon and nitrogen for a bacterial consortium consisting of P. putida F1, B. cereus and, B. paramycoides. A hydrogel was synthesized using acrylic acid (AA), acrylamide [...] Read more.
In this study, lignin was chemically modified to promote hydrogel degradation as a source of carbon and nitrogen for a bacterial consortium consisting of P. putida F1, B. cereus and, B. paramycoides. A hydrogel was synthesized using acrylic acid (AA), acrylamide (AM), and 2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid (AMPS) and cross-linked with the modified lignin. The structural changes and mass loss in the hydrogel, as well as its final composition, were evaluated as functions of the growth of the selected strains in a culture broth with the powdered hydrogel. The average loss was 18.4% wt. The hydrogel was characterized using FTIR spectroscopy, scanning electronic microscopy (SEM), elemental analysis (EA), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) before and after bacterial treatment. FTIR showed that the carboxylic groups present in both the lignin and the acrylic acid of the hydrogel decreased during bacterial growth. The bacteria showed a preference for the biomaterial components of the hydrogel. SEM demonstrated superficial morphological changes in the hydrogel. The results reveal that the hydrogel was assimilated by the bacterial consortium while preserving the water retention capacity of the material and that the microorganisms carried out a partial biodegradation of the hydrogel. The results of the EA and TGA confirm that the bacterial consortium not only degraded the biopolymer (lignin), but also used the synthetic hydrogel as a carbon source to degrade its polymeric chains and modified original properties. This modification with lignin as a crosslinker (which is a waste product of the paper industry) is therefore proposed to promote hydrogel degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Recent Advances in Hydrogels)
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12 pages, 3367 KiB  
Article
A Simple Synthesis of Reduction-Responsive Acrylamide-Type Nanogels for miRNA Delivery
by Ali Maruf, Małgorzata Milewska, Anna Lalik, Sebastian Student and Ilona Wandzik
Molecules 2023, 28(2), 761; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28020761 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1745
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have great therapeutic potential; however, their delivery still faces huge challenges, especially given the short half-life of naked miRNAs due to rapid hydrolysis or inactivation by abundant nucleases in the systemic circulation. Therefore, the search for reliable miRNA delivery systems is [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have great therapeutic potential; however, their delivery still faces huge challenges, especially given the short half-life of naked miRNAs due to rapid hydrolysis or inactivation by abundant nucleases in the systemic circulation. Therefore, the search for reliable miRNA delivery systems is crucial. Nanogels are one of the more effective nanocarriers because they are biocompatible and have a high drug-loading capacity. In this study, acrylamide-based nanogels containing cationic groups and redox-sensitive crosslinkers were developed for cellular delivery of anti-miR21 (a-miR21). To achieve this, post-polymerization loading of a-miR21 oligonucleotides into nanogels was performed by utilizing the electrostatic interaction between positively charged nanogels and negatively charged oligonucleotides. Different molar ratios of the amine groups (N) on the cationic nanogel and phosphate groups (P) on the miRNA were investigated. An N/P ratio of 2 allowed high miRNA loading capacity (MLC, 6.7% w/w) and miRNA loading efficiency (MLE, 99.7% w/w). Successful miRNA loading was confirmed by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and electrophoretic light scattering (ELS) measurements. miRNA-loaded nanogels (NG/miRNA) formed stable dispersions in biological media and showed an enhanced miRNA release profile in the presence of glutathione (GSH). Moreover, the addition of heparin to dissociate the miRNA from the cationic nanogels resulted in the complete release of miRNA. Lastly, a cell uptake study indicated that NG/miRNA could be easily taken up by cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Recent Advances in Hydrogels)
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