Bioresponsive hydrogels

Rein V. Ulijn, Nurguse Bibi, Vineetha Jayawarna, Paul D. Thornton, Simon J. Todd, Robert J. Mart, Andrew M. Smith, Julie E. Gough

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

415 Citations (Scopus)


We highlight recent developments in hydrogel materials with biological responsiveness built in. These 'smart' biomaterials change properties in response to selective biological recognition events. When exposed to a biological target (nutrient, growth factor, receptor, antibody, enzyme, or whole cell), molecular recognition events trigger changes in molecular interactions that translate into macroscopic responses, such as swelling/collapse or solution-to-gel transitions. The hydrogel transitions may be used directly as optical readouts for biosensing, linked to the release of actives for drug delivery, or instigate biochemical signaling events that control or direct cellular behavior. Accordingly, bioresponsive hydrogels have gained significant interest for application in diagnostics, drug delivery, and tissue regeneration/wound healing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-48
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Today
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • bioresponsive hydrogels
  • photonic crystal
  • supramolecular hydrogel
  • responsive polymers
  • sensitive hydrogels
  • cell migration
  • drug delivery
  • in vivo
  • biomaterials
  • glucose
  • medicine


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