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Issue 14, 2012
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Temperature-responsive compounds as in situ gelling biomedical materials

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Aqueous solutions that undergo sol-to-gel transition as the temperature increases have been extensively studied during the last decade. The material can be designed by controlling the hydrophilic and hydrophobic balance of the material. Basically, the molecular weight of the hydrophilic block and hydrophobic block of a compound should be fine-tuned from the synthetic point of view. In addition, stereochemistry, microsequence, topology, and nanostructures of the compound also affect the transition temperature, gel window, phase diagram, and modulus of the gel. From a practical point of view, biodegradability, biocompatibility, and interactions between the material and drug or cell should be considered in designing a thermogelling material. The interactions are particularly important in that they control drug release profile and initial burst release of the drug in the drug delivery system, and affect cell proliferation, differentiation, and biomarker expression in three-dimensional cell culture and tissue engineering application. This review provides an in-depth summary of the recent progress of thermogelling systems including polymers, low molecular compounds, and nanoemulsions. Their biomedical applications were also comparatively discussed. In addition, perspectives on future material design of a new thermogelling material and its application are suggested.

Graphical abstract: Temperature-responsive compounds as in situ gelling biomedical materials

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Mar 2012 and first published on 11 Jun 2012

Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C2CS35078E
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012,41, 4860-4883

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    Temperature-responsive compounds as in situ gelling biomedical materials

    H. J. Moon, D. Y. Ko, M. H. Park, M. K. Joo and B. Jeong, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 4860
    DOI: 10.1039/C2CS35078E

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