Research

Hydrogels

Hydrogels are three-dimensional networks composed of chemically or dynamically (formed by non-covalent interactions) cross-linked polymeric chains, with the ability to swell, without dissolution, several times their dry weight by absorption of water. Since their introduction in the late 1950s, hydrogels have been increasingly studied and significant progress has been made in designing, synthesizing, and using these materials for many biological and biomedical applications.

In particular, they have been exploited in applications such as sensing, drug delivery and tissue regeneration thanks to their potential high water content, biocompatibility and because they allow incorporation of biological molecules that can be covalently bond into hydrogel structures. We believe that these interesting characteristics, together with the possibility of tuning their structural and mechanical properties using a range of chemistries, provide a suitable support for three-dimensional cells growth and for investigating cell-material interaction. We are mainly interested in exploiting the synthesis and properties of hydrogel network composed by chemically cross-linked hydrophilic polymer chains and of hybrid hydrogels which incorporate appropriately functionalized nanoparticles.

In particular, they have been exploited in applications such as sensing, drug delivery and tissue regeneration thanks to their potential high water content, biocompatibility and because they allow incorporation of biological molecules that can be covalently bond into hydrogel structures. We believe that these interesting characteristics, together with the possibility of tuning their structural and mechanical properties using a range of chemistries, provide a suitable support for three-dimensional cells growth and for investigating cell-material interaction. We are mainly interested in exploiting the synthesis and properties of hydrogel network composed by chemically cross-linked hydrophilic polymer chains and of hybrid hydrogels which incorporate appropriately functionalized nanoparticles.

 

Reference

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3. L. Sambri, F. Cucinotta, G. De Paoli, S. Stagni, L. De Cola New Journal of Chemistry, 2010, 34(10), 2093-2096

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