Casein-based hydrogels: Advances and prospects

Food Chem. 2024 Jul 30:447:138956. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2024.138956. Epub 2024 Mar 5.


Casein-based hydrogels (Casein Gels) possess advantageous properties, including mechanical strength, stability, biocompatibility, and even adhesion, conductivity, sensing capabilities, as well as controlled-releasing behavior of drugs. These features are attributed to their gelation methods and functionalization with various polymers. Casein Gels is an important protein-based material in the food industry, in terms of dairy and functional foods, biological and medicine, in terms of carrier for bioactive and sensitive drugs, wound healing, and flexible sensors and wearable devices. Herein, this review aims to highlight the importance of the features mentioned above via a comprehensive investigation of Casein Gels through multiple directions and dimensional applications. Firstly, the composition, structure, and properties of casein, along with the gelation methods employed to create Casein Gels are elaborated, which serves as a foundation for further exploration. Then, the application progresses of Casein Gels in dairy products, functional foods, medicine, flexible sensors and wearable devices, are thoroughly discussed to provide insights into the diverse fields where Casein Gels have shown promise and utility. Lastly, the existing challenges and future research trends are highlighted from an interdisciplinary perspective. We present the latest research advances of Casein Gels and provide references for the development of multifunctional biomass-based hydrogels.

Keywords: Casein; Hydrogel; Multidimensional application; Natural protein; Preparation method.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomass
  • Caseins*
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Functional Food
  • Hydrogels*


  • Hydrogels
  • Caseins