Overview of natural hydrogels for regenerative medicine applications

J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2019 Oct 10;30(10):115. doi: 10.1007/s10856-019-6318-7.


Hydrogels from different materials can be used in biomedical field as an innovative approach in regenerative medicine. Depending on the origin source, hydrogels can be synthetized through chemical and physical methods. Hydrogel can be characterized through several physical parameters, such as size, elastic modulus, swelling and degradation rate. Lately, research is focused on hydrogels derived from biologic materials. These hydrogels can be derived from protein polymers, such as collage, elastin, and polysaccharide polymers like glycosaminoglycans or alginate among others. Introduction of decellularized tissues into hydrogels synthesis displays several advantages compared to natural or synthetic based hydrogels. Preservation of natural molecules such as growth factors, glycans, bioactive cryptic peptides and natural proteins can promote cell growth, function, differentiation, angiogenesis, anti-angiogenesis, antimicrobial effects, and chemotactic effects. Versatility of hydrogels make possible multiple applications and combinations with several molecules on order to obtain the adequate characteristic for each scope. In this context, a lot of molecules such as cross link agents, drugs, grow factors or cells can be used. This review focuses on the recent progress of hydrogels synthesis and applications in order to classify the most recent and relevant matters in biomedical field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alginates / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Chitosan / chemistry
  • Collagen / chemistry
  • Elastic Modulus
  • Elastin / chemistry
  • Fibroins / chemistry
  • Gelatin
  • Glycosaminoglycans / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Hydrogels / chemistry*
  • Materials Testing
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Regenerative Medicine / methods*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods


  • Alginates
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Hydrogels
  • Polymers
  • Polysaccharides
  • Gelatin
  • Collagen
  • Elastin
  • Fibroins
  • Chitosan