About this Research Topic
This Research Topic focusses on the current state-of-the-art fundamental and biomedical applications of smart hydrogels at nano-, micro-, and macro-scales. Hydrogels are hydrophilic macromolecular networks that retain a significant fraction of water in their structure in physiological solution without dissolving. On account of their wide range of properties, hydrogels have been used as injectable, in situ gelling, patterned matrices, viscous gels, thin sheets, and three-dimensional scaffolds in regenerative medicine to guide and regulate cell fate. It has been widely established that the fate of implanted cells is mediated by cell-matrix and matrix-morphogen interactions at nano-, micro- and macro-scales. Further, the fate of multi-cellular implants is dependent on in situ and timed-release of growth factors to guide the differentiation and maturation of cells to different lineages. As a result, many researchers have been great interests in hydrogels with a hierarchical structure to mimic the complex interaction of cells with their microenvironment at multiple length scales, and hydrogels that can locally release growth factors to specific cells at different time scales.
This Research Topic highlights the recent advancements of polymer hydrogels in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. We welcome original research articles, review articles and brief research reports related to aspects including but not limited to the following topics:
• Self-assembled hydrogels
• Hybrid and degradable hydrogels
• Load-bearing and self-healing hydrogels
• Smart hydrogels for stem cell encapsulation and biofabrication
• Smart hydrogels for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
• Smart hydrogels for delivery systems for spatiotemporal delivery of growth factors
• Smart hydrogels that modulate the body’s immune response
• Smart hydrogels for biomedical application
Keywords: hydrogels, high-performance, double network, stimuli responsive, biomedical applications
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.