Author(s): Du X, Zhou J, Shi J, Xu B
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Abstract In this review we intend to provide a relatively comprehensive summary of the work of supramolecular hydrogelators after 2004 and to put emphasis particularly on the applications of supramolecular hydrogels/hydrogelators as molecular biomaterials. After a brief introduction of methods for generating supramolecular hydrogels, we discuss supramolecular hydrogelators on the basis of their categories, such as small organic molecules, coordination complexes, peptides, nucleobases, and saccharides. Following molecular design, we focus on various potential applications of supramolecular hydrogels as molecular biomaterials, classified by their applications in cell cultures, tissue engineering, cell behavior, imaging, and unique applications of hydrogelators. Particularly, we discuss the applications of supramolecular hydrogelators after they form supramolecular assemblies but prior to reaching the critical gelation concentration because this subject is less explored but may hold equally great promise for helping address fundamental questions about the mechanisms or the consequences of the self-assembly of molecules, including low molecular weight ones. Finally, we provide a perspective on supramolecular hydrogelators. We hope that this review will serve as an updated introduction and reference for researchers who are interested in exploring supramolecular hydrogelators as molecular biomaterials for addressing the societal needs at various frontiers.
This article was published in Chem Rev
and referenced in Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Devices