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Issue 18, 2012
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Supramolecular polymeric hydrogels

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The supramolecular crosslinking of polymer chains in water by specific, directional and dynamic non-covalent interactions has led to the development of novel supramolecular polymeric hydrogels. These aqueous polymeric networks constitute an interesting class of soft materials exhibiting attractive properties such as stimuli-responsiveness and self-healing arising from their dynamic behaviour and that are crucial for a wide variety of emerging applications. We present here a critical review summarising the formation of dynamic polymeric networks through specific non-covalent interactions, with a particular emphasis on those systems based on host–guest complex formation, as well as the characterisation of their physical characteristics. Aqueous supramolecular chemistry has unlocked a versatile toolbox for the design and fine-tuning of the material properties of these hydrogels (264 references).

Graphical abstract: Supramolecular polymeric hydrogels

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Jul 2012 and first published on 13 Aug 2012

Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C2CS35264H
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012,41, 6195-6214

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    Supramolecular polymeric hydrogels

    E. A. Appel, J. del Barrio, X. J. Loh and O. A. Scherman, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 6195
    DOI: 10.1039/C2CS35264H

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