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THE PHARMA REVIEW (NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013)

Hydrogels Endows Communion with Cells Employing Light

Kiran. B. Bhatia & C.V. Achhra

Introduction: Gel: Non-fluid colloidal network or polymer network that is expanded throughout its whole volume by a fluid. Hydrogels are hydrophilic polymers with three-dimensional cross-linked structure that swell in aqueous solutions without dissolving in them. Environmentally receptive hydrogels have the ability to change or switch their conformation when a specific stimulus such as temperature, pH, light or enzymes is brought to bear. Such hydrogels have been alluring for biomedical uses as they can deform in situ under physiological conditions and provide the advantage of convenient administration. They can serve as scaffolds that provide structural integrity to tissue constructs, control drug and protein delivery to tissues and cultures, and serve as adhesives or barriers between tissue and material surfaces. In this work, the properties of hydrogels that are important for tissue engineering applications and the inherent material design constraints and challenges are discussed1. Recent research involving several different hydrogels polymerized from a variety of synthetic and natural monomers using typical and novel synthetic methods are highlighted. A sum of therapies under development lean on generating unique cells to do unique things capturing the right message to the right group of cells remains a sizeable trial at the right time. The use of light to communion with cells has been barred by its finite ability to pass through tissues. Now scientists have developed a way to deliver a light signal to specific tissues deep within the body2. 

 

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