Protein-Based Hydrogels

Alexandra L. Rutz, Ramille Nirav Shah

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Protein-based hydrogels are composed of isolated or enriched proteins from natural extracellular matrix. Inherent and controllable bioactivity makes these hydrogels promising candidates as smart biomaterials for drug delivery, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, and other applications. Desirable characteristics for these applications include natural cell binding, cell degradable, and growth factor-binding sequences. This chapter covers the unique properties of a variety of proteins (collagen, gelatin, fibrin, silk, elastin, keratin, and decellularized, tissue-specific extracellular matrix) as well as hydrogel synthesis, fabrication, modification, and established applications. Conditions of solubility and the mechanism of the sol–gel transition are discussed. Since each protein presented undergoes self-assembly to form a gel network, gelation parameters that affect this assembly and subsequently the gel ultrastructure are specifically presented. Emerging applications and technologies for protein-based hydrogels are also briefly mentioned.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPolymeric Hydrogels as Smart Biomaterials
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-25322-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-25320-6
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameSpringer Series on Polymer and Composite Materials
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISSN (Print)2364-1878


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