About the book
Hydrogels are one of the most important classes of materials with tremendous biomedical and eco-friendly applications.
With a history of over 50 years since their introduction into therapy and formulation of medicinal products, hydrogels remain a challenge for researchers in the field.
Versatile, with high-water content, tunable properties, and mild processing conditions, hydrogels advanced from simple chemically or physically crosslinked networks to complex double network composites or even more sophisticated new developments as shape memory and self-healing hydrogels.
Increasing knowledge in hybrid or composite hydrogel materials, controlled release of sensitive drugs, or several drugs from the same hydrogel matrix could be achieved. Parallel to targeted efforts aimed to maintain drug micro- or nanoparticle’s distinct three-dimensional structure, synergistic hybrid materials with more than one type of polymer was developed.
But one of the most challenging tasks remains further and continues to improve the clinical translation of these innovative hydrogels. That is what this book intends to provide the reader: a comprehensive overview of the current state-of-the-art, recent advances, new perspectives, and applications of the hydrogels as valuable platforms for targeted delivery. Driven by the need to ensure proper patient compliance, ease of administration, along with the possibility to modulate release and degradation profiles after administration, numerous non-topical hydrogel formulations had been reported. Smart and supramolecular hydrogels, stimuli-reactive materials, that quickly respond in mild conditions, represent today an attractive approach for minimally invasive treatments.
The book will also represent an invitation to discover “new” off-the-shelf hydrogels with highly tunable properties, with low complexity of formulation (environmentally friendly processing), but with adequate features to fulfill clinical requirements and provide desired delivery platforms for therapy.