Enzyme-responsive hydrogels for biomedical applications

Yousef M. Y.M. Abul-Haija, Rein V. R.V. Ulijn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter highlights recent developments in enzyme-responsive gels. The focus is on peptide-based small-molecule hydrogels, for biomedical applications. The use of enzymes in this context provides a powerful methodology for controlled assembly, taking advantage of both biological selectivity and catalytic amplification. The building blocks for self-assembly and basic design rules for small molecule peptide gelators are discussed first. This is followed by a discussion of key features of biocatalytic self-assembly of hydrogels, focusing on control of nanoscale organization and consequent function. Finally, the potential applications of the enzyme-responsive hydrogels as biomaterials are discussed in the areas of cell culture, drug delivery, biosensing, and control of cell fate.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHydrogels in Cell-Based Therapies
EditorsChe J Connon, Ian W Hamley
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9781849737982
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2014


  • enzyme-responsive gels
  • small-molecule hydrogels
  • biomedical applications
  • peptide-based
  • biological selectivity
  • catalytic amplification

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    Abul-Haija, Y. M. Y. M., & Ulijn, R. V. R. V. (2014). Enzyme-responsive hydrogels for biomedical applications. In C. J. Connon, & I. W. Hamley (Eds.), Hydrogels in Cell-Based Therapies (pp. 112-134). Royal Society of Chemistry. https://doi.org/10.1039/9781782622055-00112