Low molecular weight hydrogels derived from urea based-bolaamphiphiles as new injectable biomaterials

Biomaterials. 2017 Nov:145:72-80. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2017.08.034. Epub 2017 Aug 19.


There is a critical need for soft materials in the field of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. However, designing injectable hydrogel scaffolds encompassing both adequate mechanical and biological properties remains a key challenge for in vivo applications. Here we use a bottom-up approach for synthesizing supramolecular gels to generate novel biomaterial candidates. We evaluated the low molecular weight gels candidates in vivo and identified one urea-containing molecule, compound 16, that avoid foreign body reactions in mice. The self-assembly of bolaamphiphiles creates a unique hydrogel supramolecular structures featuring fast gelation kinetics, high elastic moduli, thixotropic, and thermal reversibility properties. This soft material, which inhibits recognition by macrophages and fibrous deposition, exhibits long-term stability after in vivo injection.

Keywords: Biomaterials; Bolaamphiphiles; Low molecular weight hydrogelator; Rheology; Subcutaneous implantation; Supramolecular structures.

MeSH terms

  • Amides / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemical synthesis
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry
  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Furans / chemistry
  • Furans / pharmacology*
  • Hydrogels / chemical synthesis
  • Hydrogels / chemistry
  • Hydrogels / pharmacology*
  • Injections*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Weight
  • Pyridones / chemistry
  • Pyridones / pharmacology*
  • Rheology
  • Urea / chemistry*


  • Amides
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Furans
  • Hydrogels
  • Pyridones
  • bolaamphiphile
  • Urea