DNA Hydrogels for Biomedical Applications

DNA is a perfect polymeric molecule for interfacing biology with material science to construct hydrogels with fascinating properties for a wide variety of biomedical applications. DNA is an irreplaceable building block for the construction of novel 3D hydrogels, because of its multifunctional tunability, convenient programmability, adequate biocompatibility, biodegradability, capability of precise molecular recognition, and high versatility.

Mohammad-Ali Shahbazi, Tomás Bauleth-Ramos, Hélder A. Santos*, “DNA Hydrogel Assemblies: Bridging Synthesis Principles to Biomedical Applications”, Adv. Ther. 2018, 1(4), 1800042

In their review article, researchers from the University of Helsinki first sought to comprehensively discuss physicochemical identifications and key features that can directly affect the design and synthesis of DNA based hydrogels. Novel advances in the fabrication of DNA hydrogels and further recognition of unique properties that DNA can impart to the hydrogels are addressed. The key design parameters to achieve responsive DNA hydrogels are discussed and challenges of DNA hydrogel fabrication are addressed from biological point of view. In addition, potential usages of DNA hydrogels for different biomedical applications are highlighted by giving different examples of efforts intending to bring the molecule of DNA into the realm of bulk materials.

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