Supramolecular polymeric biomaterials
Polymeric chains crosslinked through supramolecular interactions—directional and reversible non-covalent interactions—compose an emerging class of modular and tunable biomaterials. The choice of chemical moiety utilized in the crosslink affords different thermodynamic and kinetic parameters of association, which in turn illustrate the connectivity and dynamics of the system. These parameters, coupled with the choice of polymeric architecture, can then be engineered to control environmental responsiveness, viscoelasticity, and cargo diffusion profiles, yielding advanced biomaterials which demonstrate rapid shear-thinning, self-healing, and extended release. In this review we examine the relationship between supramolecular crosslink chemistry and biomedically relevant macroscopic properties. We then describe how these properties are currently leveraged in the development of materials for drug delivery, immunology, regenerative medicine, and 3D-bioprinting (253 references).