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Hydrogel is a cross-linked polymer, and it takes water as the dispersing medium. Many hydrophobic groups and hydrophilic residues are introduced into water-soluble polymers with network crosslinking structure. Moreover, hydrophilic residues are combined with water molecules to connect them in the network, while hydrophobic residues expand when exposed to water. In short, the hydrogel-forming product is a polymer network system, and it is not only soft in nature, but also able to maintain a certain shape and absorb a large amount of water.
Categories Hydrogel-forming Products
Hydrogels can be formed from water-soluble or hydrophilic polymers by chemical or physical crosslinking. These polymers can be divided into natural and synthetic categories according to their sources. Natural hydrophilic polymers include polysaccharides (starch, cellulose, alginate, hyaluronic acid, chitosan, etc.) and peptides (collagen, polyl-lysine, polyl-glutamic acid, etc.). Synthesized hydrophilic polymers include alcohol, acrylic acid and its derivatives (polyacrylic acid, polymethacrylic acid, polyacrylamide, etc.). In addition, synthetic hydrogels usually have the disadvantages of low gel strength, poor toughness and slow water absorption speed, which cannot meet the requirements of use. As a result, new gels with excellent mechanical properties have emerged, such as topological hydrogels, double-network structure hydrogels, composite hydrogels, macromolecular microspheres composite hydrogels, hydrophobic association gels and homogeneous chain structure hydrogels.
Application of Hydrogel-forming Products
The hydrogel-forming products are widely used and still have great potential in medicine as a kind of high absorbent and high water retention material. Hydrogels are similar to living tissue materials: the surface adhesion of proteins and cells is very weak, but when in contact with blood, body fluids and human tissues, hydrogels show good biocompatibility. It does not affect the metabolic process of living things, and the metabolites can be excreted through hydrogel. In nature, the hydrogels products are similar to the extracellular matrix. After water absorption, they can reduce the friction and mechanical effects on surrounding tissues and significantly improve the biological properties of the materials. Therefore, hydrogels could be used in biomedicine, tissue engineering and other fields, such as tissue filler, drug sustained release agent, enzyme embedding, protein electrophoresis, contact glasses, artificial plasma, artificial skin, tissue engineering scaffold materials and etc. Concretely speaking, compared with the traditional filler polysiloxane, polyN2 vinylpyrrolidone has higher X-ray transmittance, which is conducive to the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer.
1. Nikhil J. (2006). Novel delivery system based on complexation hydrogels as delivery vehicles for insulin-transferrin conjugates. Biomaterials, 27, 3846.
2. Márcia R de Moura, Marcos R Guilherme, Gilsinei MCampese. (2005). Porous alginate-Ca2 + hydrogels interpenetrated with PNIPAAm networks: Interrelationship between compressive stress and pore morphology. Eur Polymer J, 41(12), 2845.