Regenerative medicine requires materials that are biodegradable, biocompatible, structurally and chemically stable, and that can mimic the properties of the native extracellular matrix (ECM). Hydrogels are hydrophilic three-dimensional networks that have long received attention in the field of regenerative medicine due to their unique properties. Hydrogels have a potential to be the future of regenerative medicine due to their desirable mechanical and chemical properties, ease of their synthesis, and their multiple applicability as drug delivery vehicles, scaffolds, and constructs for cell culture. In this chapter, we have described hydrogels in terms of their cross-linking and then discussed the most recent developments in the use of hydrogels for peripheral nerve regeneration, tooth regeneration, and 3D bioprinting.
Part of the book: Recent Advances in Biopolymers