Recently, research in Canada shows that hydrogel is not only conducive to stem cell transplantation, but also can accelerate the repair of eye and nerve injuries. The research team pointed out that jelly like hydrogel is an ideal medium for stem cell transplantation, which can help stem cells survive in vivo and repair damaged tissues.
This is undoubtedly great news for patients who have recovered from accidents or surgery.
Coincidentally, the Pan Haobo team and Zhao Xiaoli research team of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, together with Shenzhen Hospital of the University of Hong Kong and other units, have developed a “stable” injectable adhesive hydrogel, which combines rapid adhesion and anti water swelling. Through material design, damaged tissues can be quickly adhered and sealed, combined with “temperature shrinking” nano micelles and “sticky small molecules” module, Realize effective hemostasis of various bleeding models, including cardiac bleeding. At the same time, when used in the spinal cavity, it can seal dural injury, effectively avoiding the risk of hydrophilic medical glue swelling compressing and damaging spinal cord tissue,
This also represents a significant progress in self-healing medicine.
New Material Information NMT | Understanding Hydrogel: Cutting through the thorns and self-healing
It is well known that when an organism is slightly injured, it can rely on its own endogenous vitality to repair limb defects. This ability to maintain life and health is called self-healing power, but this ability can only exist in organisms.
Hydrogels also have this self-healing ability in the absence of “life” organic materials. Inspired by the self-healing behavior of human skin and the self-healing behavior of biological mussel secretions, researchers have developed a series of self-healing hydrogels that can self-healing after the material breaks. This self-healing design not only extends the service life of the material, but also restores and maintains its original performance.
Hydrogels are composed of hydrophilic polymers. Their three-dimensional network structure can not only absorb a large amount of water, but also be used to carry drugs. Hydrogels prepared with suitable materials have the characteristics of high biocompatibility, controllable mechanical and viscoelastic properties.
The earliest date can be traced back to 1894 and was originally used to describe some inorganic salt colloids. Over time, the meaning of hydrogel has changed completely. In 1949, the world’s first mature hydrogel product Ivalon (cross linking compound of formaldehyde resin and ethylene) came out, and in 1960, PHEMA (polyhydroxyethyl methacrylate) came out, promoting the prosperity of the hydrogel market.
New material information NMT | Understand hydrogel: cut through the thorns, self-healing
In 1960, WiChterle and Lim first synthesized crosslinked HEMA hydrogel. Its hydrophilicity and potential biocompatibility aroused great interest of biomaterials scholars, which led many researchers to carry out a lot of research on improving the performance of hydrogel. It is widely used in biomedical fields such as drug delivery carriers, ophthalmic materials, medical dressings and cosmetic materials.
Drug release carrier
The hydrogel has good permeability to small molecule water-soluble solutes, which can keep the loaded substances active for a long time, and at the same time ensure the long-term release of drugs in the body. In addition, the hydrogel material for embedding drugs can be transplanted or injected to the designated location of the organism, thereby enhancing the targeted efficacy of drugs. Therefore, hydrogels become intelligent carriers for controlling drug delivery systems.
Ophthalmic materials
The vitreous body of the eye is gel shaped. The matrix of the gel is collagen and hyaluronic acid, which is a kind of hydrogel tissue with sufficient strength and elasticity. Vitreous opacity and retinal detachment can lead to decreased vision and even blindness. In order to overcome the turbidity and maladaptability of artificial vitreous bodies, Leone et al. The prepared PVA/PVP based hydrogel. The hydrogel has viscoelasticity and good filling effect. It can seal holes, flatten the retina, and serve as an artificial vitreous body.
Tissue engineering scaffold
Hydrogel has excellent biocompatibility and hydrophilicity. It can not change its own structure while absorbing water and swelling. It can be used to wrap bioactive factors to transmit signals to cells and culture cells. As a supporting structure for cell growth and function, it can fill the defect space. These characteristics enable hydrogel to become an ideal scaffold material and be used as a scaffold for tissue engineering. Ashton et al. prepared a alginate salt water gel that can adjust the degradation rate by mixing the copolymer microspheres loaded with alginate lyase into the alginate salt water gel, loaded neural progenitor cells (NPC) into the hydrogel, cultured and expanded in vitro, and used it as the culture scaffold of stem cells.
Medical dressings and cosmetic materials
Traditional wound dressings such as gauze and cotton ball have certain protective effects on the wound, but they have certain limitations in clinical use due to their easy adhesion to the wound surface. The hydrogel has a high moisture content, which can provide a relatively wet healing environment for the wound, and can continuously absorb the wound secretion. At the same time, the transparent or translucent appearance of the hydrogel is convenient for observing the wound healing, and different drugs can be embedded in the hydrogel as required, and the drugs can be slowly and continuously released to the lesion area, so as to achieve the purpose of curing the wound or skin disease.
These characteristics make hydrogel dressings become the most competitive functional materials in wound care, skin repair and regeneration and other medical fields in recent decades, and show a growing trend year by year.
At present, the main local manufacturers in the Chinese market include Changchun Jiyuan Biotechnology, Zhuhai Guojia New Materials and Huizhou Huayang Medical Devices. The products of Fusangdi Pharmaceutical, the production base of Imperial Japan Pharmaceutical in Qingdao, are not only supplied to the local market, but also exported to Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia and other Asia-Pacific regions. 3M and ConvaTec are the main import brands in China. ConvaTec used to be the most popular product in China. In 2020, the sales volume of the top five enterprises in China reached 60.91% of the total market, with a high market concentration.
In 2020, the market size of medical hydrogel in China will reach 547 million yuan, which is expected to reach 714 million yuan in 2026, with a CAGR of 4.52%.
In the past ten years, the national policies have given great support to the hydrogel industry, so some landmark achievements and progress have been made. However, due to the lack of systematic and in-depth basic resea