A novel protein-engineered hydrogel offers a less toxic sustained release alternative to synthetic platforms
Maryam Mahdi | | Quick Read
“Hydrogels are essentially 3D polymer networks,” explains Jin Kim Montclare, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at New York University’s (NYU’s) Tandon School of Engineering. “They have the capacity to encapsulate small molecules, but they can also transition between gel and solution states, which liberates specific compounds into the internal environment in response to stimuli like temperature and acidity.”
Though academic research has previously demonstrated the ability of synthetically produced hydrogels to be used for drug loading and controlled release, such technologies are often associated with toxic crosslinkers. Montclare says that the protein-engineered gel developed by her team demonstrates the capacity to load and deliver drugs without the risk of harm, as protein hydrogels are more biocompatible than synthetic hydrogels (1).
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