Structuring of hydrogels across multiple length scales for biomedical applications

Megan Cooke, Simon Jones, Britt Ter Horst, Naiem Moiemen, Martyn Snow, Gurpreet Chouhan, Lisa Jayne Hill, Maryam Esmaeli, Richard Moakes, James Holton, Rajpal Nandra, Richard Williams, Alan M. Smith, Liam Grover

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
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The development of new materials for clinical use is limited by an onerous regulatory framework, which means that taking a completely new material into the clinic can make translation economically unfeasible. One way to get around this issue is to structure materials that are already approved by the regulator, such that they exhibit very distinct physical properties and can be used in a broader range of clinical applications. Here, the focus is on the structuring of soft materials at multiple length scales by modifying processing conditions. By applying shear to newly forming materials, it is possible to trigger molecular reorganization of polymer chains, such that they aggregate to form particles and ribbon-like structures. These structures then weakly interact at zero shear forming a solid-like material. The resulting self-healing network is of particular use for a range of different biomedical applications. How these materials are used to allow the delivery of therapeutic entities (cells and proteins) and as a support for additive layer manufacturing of larger-scale tissue constructs is discussed. This technology enables the development of a range of novel materials and structures for tissue augmentation and regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1705013
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number14
Early online date12 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2018


  • biomaterials
  • regenerative medicine
  • soft materials
  • hydrogels
  • structuring


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