Injectable hydrogels based on poly(ethylene glycol) and derivatives as functional biomaterials
Hydrogels based on poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and derivatives have attracted significant interest in recent years given their capacity to be well-tolerated in vivo in the context of drug delivery and tissue engineering applications. Injectable, in situ-gelling analogues of such hydrogels offer the additional advantages of being easy and non-invasive to administer via the injection of low-viscosity precursor polymer solutions, expanding their scope of potential applications. In this highlight, we first review the design criteria associated with the rational design of in situ-gelling hydrogels for in vivo applications. We then discuss recent progress in the design of injectable PEG hydrogels, specifically highlighting our ongoing work on PEG-analogue hydrogels based on poly(oligoethylene glycol methacrylate) for targeted biomedical applications.