Recent advances in the synthesis and applications of collagen based hydrogels: A review

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Jesús A. Claudio-Rizo, Laura Espíndola-Serna, Juan J. Becerra-Rodriguez, Lucia F. Cano-Salazar, Tirso E. Flores Guía. (2019). Mediterranean Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 3(2): 54-98.

Collagen is a triple helical protein present in the connective tissue and bones of mammals. The collagen has the ability to polymerize by adjusting the pH and temperature, generating fibrillar matrices in the hydrogel state. Collagen hydrogels have shown great potential for applications related to biomedicine, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine (BTERM), mainly due to their high biocompatibility and ease of processing. However, collagen hydrogels have poor mechanical properties and high rate of proteolytic degradation, limiting their applicability for in vivo tests that demand control in said properties. In order to combat the aforementioned disadvantages, systems of collagen-based hydrogels have been designed in combination either with natural polymers, synthetic polymers, inorganic particles and/or complex biological molecules, demonstrating to regulate the self-assembly processes of the collagen molecules, forming crosslinked and/or interpenetrated polymeric networks based hydrogels. In addition, the physicochemical interactions among the collagen molecules and the functionalization agents regulate the structure and properties of the 3D hybrid networks generated, enhancing their application in specific fields of BTERM. This work summarizes the most recent strategies for the synthesis and applications of collagen-based hydrogels with diverse chemical components that have been designed for BTERM. Finally, this work also illustrates the importance of the properties of collagen-based hydrogel systems and their potential use in other future biotechnological applications.

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