Hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogels display a wide variety of biomedical applications ranging from tissue engineering to drug vehiculization and controlled release. To date, most of the commercially available hyaluronic acid hydrogel formulations are produced under conditions that are not compatible with physiological ones. This review compiles the currently used approaches for the development of hyaluronic acid hydrogels under physiological/mild conditions. These methods include dynamic covalent processes such as boronic ester and Schiff-base formation and click chemistry mediated reactions such as thiol chemistry processes, azide-alkyne, or Diels Alder cycloaddition. Thermoreversible gelation of HA hydrogels at physiological temperature is also discussed. Finally, the most outstanding biomedical applications are indicated for each of the HA hydrogel generation approaches.
Keywords: cross-linking; hyaluronic acid; physiological conditions.