Alginate is a material that has many biomedical applications due to its low toxicity and a variety of favourable physical properties. In particular, the ease in which hydrogels are formed from alginate and the variety of mechanical behaviours that can be imparted on the hydrogels, by understanding alginate chemistry and intuitive design, has made alginate the most widely investigated polysaccharide used for tissue engineering. This chapter provides an overview of alginate, from how the source and natural variations in composition can influence mechanical properties of alginate hydrogels, through to some innovative techniques used to modify and functionalise the hydrogels designed specifically for cell-based therapies. The main focus is on how these strategies of understanding and controlling the chemistry of alginates have resulted in the development of hydrogels that can be tuned to deliver the physical behaviours required for successful application. This will also highlight how research on the physicochemical properties has helped alginate evolve from a structural polysaccharide in brown seaweed into a highly tuneable, multifunctional, smart biomaterial, which is likely to find further biomedical applications in the future.
|Title of host publication
|Subtitle of host publication
|Smart Materials for Biomedical Applications
|Antonina Lavrentieva, Iliyana Pepelanova, Dror Seliktar
|Number of pages
|Published - 1 Jun 2021
|Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology