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Welzel, P. ; Nitschke, M. ; Freudenberg, U. ; Zieris, A. ; Götze, T. ; Valtink, M. ; Engelmann, K. ; Werner, C. :
Polymer Hydrogels to Enable New Medical Therapies
in: Hydrogel Sensors and Actuators : Engineering and Technology, Gerlach, G.; Arndt, K.-F., ed.

Hydrogel Sensors and Actuators : Engineering and Technology

Hydrogels are well-established materials in various biomedical technologies. This chapter highlights current trends in the research on hydrophilic polymer systems motivated by the demand of advanced, cell-based medical therapies. Two major aspects of the use of polymeric materials in regenerative medicine are discussed: Functional coatings for cell culture carriers and polymer scaffolds for in vivo tissue engineering. With respect to cell culture carriers emphasis is put on stimuli-responsive polymers used for the gentle harvest of cell sheets; the example given concerns the processing of corneal endothelial cell layers supporting new approaches for cornea repair. A second subsection is dedicated to polymer scaffolds for in vivo tissue engineering and refers to recent developments of biohybrid polymers containing heparin as the biomolecular component. The example reports on ongoing own research on star-poly(ethylene glycol)-heparin-hydrogels currently explored as injectable matrices to support angiogenesis, a key process in the regeneration of almost all tissues and organs.

ISBN 978-3-540-75644-6

Springer 6, 249-266


September 2009