Piezoelectric Hydrogels: Hybrid Material Design, Properties, and Biomedical Applications

Chi Zhang, Sun Hwa Kwon, Lin Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Hydrogels show great potential in biomedical applications due to their inherent biocompatibility, high water content, and resemblance to the extracellular matrix. However, they lack self-powering capabilities and often necessitate external stimulation to initiate cell regenerative processes. In contrast, piezoelectric materials offer self-powering potential but tend to compromise flexibility. To address this, creating a novel hybrid biomaterial of piezoelectric hydrogels (PHs), which combines the advantageous properties of both materials, offers a systematic solution to the challenges faced by these materials when employed separately. Such innovative material system is expected to broaden the horizons of biomedical applications, such as piezocatalytic medicinal and health monitoring applications, showcasing its adaptability by endowing hydrogels with piezoelectric properties. Unique functionalities, like enabling self-powered capabilities and inducing electrical stimulation that mimics endogenous bioelectricity, can be achieved while retaining hydrogel matrix advantages. Given the limited reported literature on PHs, here recent strategies concerning material design and fabrication, essential properties, and distinctive applications are systematically discussed. The review is concluded by providing perspectives on the remaining challenges and the future outlook for PHs in the biomedical field. As PHs emerge as a rising star, a comprehensive exploration of their potential offers insights into the new hybrid biomaterials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSmall
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • General Materials Science
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

Keywords

  • biomedical applications
  • hybrid biomaterials
  • hydrogels
  • piezoelectric materials

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