Nartural-based hydrogels: A journey from simple to smart networks for medical examination

Javad Tavakoli, Jing Wang, Clarence Chuah, Youhong Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Natural hydrogels, due to their unique biological properties, have been used extensively for various medical and clinical examinations that are performed to investigate the signs of disease. Re-cently, complex-crosslinking strategies improved the mechanical properties and advanced approaches have resulted in the introduction of naturally derived hydrogels that exhibit high biocompatibility, with shape memory and self-healing characteristics. Moreover, the creation of self-assembled natural hydro-gels under physiological conditions has provided the opportunity to engineer fine-tuning properties. To highlight recent studies of natural-based hydrogels and their applications for medical investigation, a critical review was undertaken using published papers from the Science Direct database. This review presents different natural-based hydrogels (natural, natural-synthetic hybrid and complex-crosslinked hydrogels), their historical evolution, and recent studies of medical examination applications. The application of natural-based hydrogels in the design and fabrication of biosensors, catheters and medical electrodes, detection of cancer, targeted delivery of imaging compounds (bioimaging) and fabrication of fluorescent bioprobes is summarised here. Without doubt, in future, more useful and practical con-cepts will be derived to identify natural-based hydrogels for a wide range of clinical examination appli-cations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2704-2733
Number of pages30
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Biosensing
  • Cancer detection
  • Complex crosslinking
  • Hydrogels
  • Medical examination
  • Natural-based
  • Peptide
  • Polysaccharide
  • Protein


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