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Review Article Open Access
Hydrogels are presently under investigation as a delivery system for bioactive molecules, because of their similar physical properties as that of living tissue, which is due to their high water content, soft and rubbery consistency, and low interfacial tension with water or biological fluids. Anionic hydrogels are used in the design of intelligent controlled release devices for site-specific drug delivery of therapeutic proteins to the large intestine, where the biological activity of the proteins are prolonged, and cationic hydrogels are studied for the development of self-regulated insulin delivery system, which releases the insulin in response to changing glucose concentration. The different methods of preparation of hydrogels, novel methods of crosslinking used in the preparation of hydrogels, the mechanism of water transport through the ionic hydrogels, and the release mechanism of the solute from the hydrogels, are discussed in the present article.