Advances in preparation and application of antibacterial hydrogels

J Nanobiotechnology. 2023 Aug 26;21(1):300. doi: 10.1186/s12951-023-02025-8.


Bacterial infections, especially those caused by drug-resistant bacteria, have seriously threatened human life and health. There is urgent to develop new antibacterial agents to reduce the problem of antibiotics. Biomedical materials with good antimicrobial properties have been widely used in antibacterial applications. Among them, hydrogels have become the focus of research in the field of biomedical materials due to their unique three-dimensional network structure, high hydrophilicity, and good biocompatibility. In this review, the latest research progresses about hydrogels in recent years were summarized, mainly including the preparation methods of hydrogels and their antibacterial applications. According to their different antibacterial mechanisms, several representative antibacterial hydrogels were introduced, such as antibiotics loaded hydrogels, antibiotic-free hydrogels including metal-based hydrogels, antibacterial peptide and antibacterial polymers, stimuli-responsive smart hydrogels, and light-mediated hydrogels. In addition, we also discussed the applications and challenges of antibacterial hydrogels in biomedicine, which are expected to provide new directions and ideas for the application of hydrogels in clinical antibacterial therapy.

Keywords: Antibacterial hydrogels; Antibacterial properties; Biomedical application; Chemical cross-linking; Drug delivery systems; Infection treatment; Light-mediated hydrogels.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / pharmacology
  • Biocompatible Materials* / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Hydrogels / pharmacology
  • Polymers / pharmacology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Hydrogels
  • Polymers