Recent Trends in pH/thermo-responsive Self-Assembling Hydrogels: From Polyions to Peptide-Based Polymeric Gelators

Soft Matter. 2016 Feb 7;12(5):1344-59. doi: 10.1039/c5sm02710a. Epub 2016 Jan 19.


In this article, we highlight some recent developments in "smart" physical hydrogels achieved by self-assembling of block type macromolecules. More precisely we focus on two interesting types of gelators namely conventional ionic (or ionogenic) block copolymers and peptide-based polymers having as a common feature their responsiveness to pH and/or temperature which are the main triggers used for potential biomedical applications. Taking advantage of the immense skills of conventional block copolymer hydrogelators, namely macromolecular design, self-assembling mechanism, gel rheological properties, responsiveness to various triggers and innovative applications, the development of novel self-assembling gelators, integrating the new knowledge emerging from the peptide-based systems, opens new horizons towards bio-inspired technologies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Electrolytes / chemistry
  • Hydrogels / chemistry*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Temperature


  • Electrolytes
  • Hydrogels
  • Peptides
  • Polymers