25th anniversary article: Rational design and applications of hydrogels in regenerative medicine

Nasim Annabi, Ali Tamayol, Jorge Alfredo Uquillas, Mohsen Akbari, Luiz E. Bertassoni, Chaenyung Cha, Gulden Camci-Unal, Mehmet R. Dokmeci, Nicholas A. Peppas, Ali Khademhosseini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1089 Scopus citations


Hydrogels are hydrophilic polymer-based materials with high water content and physical characteristics that resemble the native extracellular matrix. Because of their remarkable properties, hydrogel systems are used for a wide range of biomedical applications, such as three-dimensional (3D) matrices for tissue engineering, drug-delivery vehicles, composite biomaterials, and as injectable fillers in minimally invasive surgeries. In addition, the rational design of hydrogels with controlled physical and biological properties can be used to modulate cellular functionality and tissue morphogenesis. Here, the development of advanced hydrogels with tunable physiochemical properties is highlighted, with particular emphasis on elastomeric, light-sensitive, composite, and shape-memory hydrogels. Emerging technologies developed over the past decade to control hydrogel architecture are also discussed and a number of potential applications and challenges in the utilization of hydrogels in regenerative medicine are reviewed. It is anticipated that the continued development of sophisticated hydrogels will result in clinical applications that will improve patient care and quality of life. Recent advances in the design of hydrogels with tunable physiochemical and biological properties and their potential applications in regenerative medicine are discussed, along with emerging technologies developed over the past decade to control the micro- and nanoscale architectures of three-dimensional hydrogels for clinical use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-124
Number of pages40
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 8 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • hydrogels
  • microengineering
  • regenerative medicine
  • smart biomaterials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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