Views: 0 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2023-09-08 Origin: Site
Hydrogels are three-dimensional networks made up of hydrophilic polymers, usually exhibiting high water content. They can be formed by physical or chemical crosslinking, and their mechanical and physical properties can be tailored to suit specific biomedical applications. Hydrogels have been widely used in biomedical research, such as drug delivery systems, wound dressings, tissue engineering, and biosensors, due to their excellent biocompatibility, biodegradability, and swelling properties (Kanapathipillai et al., 2016).
Methyl Hydroxyethyl Cellulose (MHEC) is a cellulose derivative that has been used for many years as a viscosity modifier in various industrial applications, such as coatings, adhesives, and cosmetics. MHEC is soluble in water, non-toxic, and biodegradable, which makes it a potential candidate for biomedical applications. In this review, we will discuss recent advances in the development of novel MHEC-based hydrogels for biomedical applications.
Synthesis of MHEC-based Hydrogels
MHEC hydrogels can be synthesized by chemical crosslinking. Crosslinking agents such as glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde, and epichlorohydrin have been used to crosslink MHEC (Khan et al., 2019). The mechanical and physical properties of MHEC hydrogels can be controlled by varying the concentration and degree of substitution of MHEC and the amount of crosslinking agent used. High concentrations of MHEC result in stiffer hydrogels, while low concentrations lead to more elastic hydrogels. The degree of substitution also affects the swelling properties, with higher degrees of substitution resulting in greater water uptake (Khan et al., 2019).
Properties of MHEC-based Hydrogels
MHEC hydrogels have several desirable properties for biomedical applications. They are hydrophilic, which allows for the efficient transport of nutrients, oxygen, and waste products through the hydrogel. MHEC hydrogels also have excellent swelling properties, which can be useful in wound dressings as they can absorb exudates from the wound and maintain a moist environment for faster wound healing (Sun et al., 2019). MHEC hydrogels have been shown to have good mechanical properties, comparable to other commonly used hydrogels such as polyacrylamide and polyvinyl alcohol (Khan et al., 2019). Finally, MHEC hydrogels are biodegradable, which means they can be broken down by enzymes in the body, eliminating the need for surgical removal (Sun et al., 2019).
Biomedical Applications of MHEC-based Hydrogels
Drug delivery systems
MHEC hydrogels have been used as drug delivery systems due to their excellent swelling properties and biocompatibility. For example, Li et al. (2018) synthesized a pH-responsive MHEC hydrogel loaded with doxorubicin, a commonly used chemotherapy drug. The hydrogel was able to absorb water and swell in response to the alkaline pH of cancer cells, releasing the drug at the tumor site. This system showed excellent anti-tumor activity in vitro and in vivo.
MHEC hydrogels have also been investigated as wound dressings due to their excellent water uptake and moisture retention properties. For example, Sun et al. (2019) synthesized a composite hydrogel comprising of MHEC and chitosan for use as a wound dressing. The hydrogel showed good swelling properties, with a water uptake of up to 70%. The composite hydrogel was able to effectively inhibit bacterial growth in vitro and promote wound healing in vivo.
MHEC hydrogels have also been used in tissue engineering due to their excellent biocompatibility and mechanical properties. For example, Zhang et al. (2019) synthesized an MHEC-based hydrogel as a scaffold for tendon tissue engineering. The hydrogel was able to effectively support the proliferation and differentiation of tendon stem cells, demonstrating excellent cellular compatibility.
MHEC hydrogels have also been used in biosensors due to their excellent swelling properties and biocompatibility. For example, Ahmed et al. (2019) synthesized an electrochemical biosensor using an MHEC hydrogel to immobilize the enzyme glucose oxidase. The biosensor showed excellent sensitivity and selectivity towards glucose detection.
In conclusion, MHEC hydrogels are promising materials for various biomedical applications due to their excellent biocompatibility, biodegradability, and swelling properties. Chemical crosslinking with various crosslinking agents can control the mechanical and physical properties of MHEC hydrogels. MHEC hydrogels have been utilized in drug delivery systems, wound dressings, tissue engineering, and biosensors, showing excellent efficacy in these applications. Future research should focus on further exploring the potential of MHEC hydrogels in biomedical applications and optimizing their properties for specific applications.