Smart hydrogels: therapeutic advancements in hydrogel technology for smart drug delivery applications.
de Lima, Gabriel Goetten
Devine, Declan M.
Nugent, Michael J.D.
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Hydrogels are a fusion of solid and liquid phases which closely mimic biological tissue. As such they have enormous potential for drug delivery systems as they are biocompatible and may be tailored to specific applications. The aim of this chapter is to look at the current research into hydrogels, technology development, and treatment, which has led to innovations in the field. The main focus of this chapter will be on smart hydrogels, which have enormous potential in various applications. Environmental variables, such as pH and temperatures, are found in the body, and either pH-sensitive and/or temperature-sensitive hydrogels can be used for site-specific controlled drug delivery. There is an increasing focus in the biomedical industry on combination products, which incorporate drug delivery aspects, medical device and biologic aspects together. As such, we wish to draw attention to the future of hydrogels and demonstrate how smart hydrogel technology may be utilized.
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