4 years ago

Synthesis of Anisotropic Hydrogels and Their Applications

Takuzo Aida, Yasuhiro Ishida, Koki Sano
Owing to their water-rich structures similar to biological tissues, hydrogels have long been regarded as promising scaffolds for artificial tissues and organs. However, in terms of structural anisotropy, most synthetic hydrogels are substantially different from biological systems. Synthetic hydrogels are usually composed of randomly oriented three-dimensional polymer networks, whereas biological systems adopt anisotropic structures with hierarchically integrated building units. Such anisotropic structures often play an essential role in biological systems to exhibit their particular functions, as represented by muscular textures comprising unidirectionally oriented actin-myosin units. In this context, anisotropic hydrogels provide an entry point for exploring the biomimetic applications of hydrogels. Reflecting these aspects, an increasing number of studies on anisotropic hydrogels have been reported recently. This Minireview highlights the outline and perspective of these anisotropic hydrogels, particularly focusing on their preparation, structures, and applications.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/anie.201708196

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