Peptide- and protein-based hydrogels

Anika M. Jonker, D.W.P.M. Löwik, J.C.M. Hest, van

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

335 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrogels are polymeric networks, capable of absorbing large amounts of water and biological fluids. They are insoluble due to the presence of chemical or physical cross-links between the constituents. Hydrogels are promising materials for use as injectable biomaterials due to their high water content, tunable viscoelasticity, and biocompatibility. Peptides and proteins are important building blocks in the design of hydrogels, since they are easily degraded by the body and display a high biocompatibility. This review aims to give an overview of hydrogels in which peptides and proteins are structural elements of the polymer network. The review starts with hydrogels derived from naturally occurring structural proteins, followed by all-protein and peptide-based synthetic systems. Next, hybrid hydrogels composed of synthetic polymeric and peptide structural elements will be discussed. The potential of these hydrogels is illustrated with applications that are mainly derived from the field of tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-773
Number of pages15
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


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