We develop materials that can perform a specific function in the biological milieu as hydrogels. Biological molecules or synthetic polymers serve as starting materials.
A hydrogel is a water-containing and at the same time water-insoluble polymer. The polymer can be of natural origin, such as gelatin, or of artificial origin. Examples include polaxamers, block polymers of ethylene oxide and propylene oxide. Hydrogel molecules are chemically linked to form three-dimensional networks, for example, by ionic or covalent bonds or entanglements of the polymer chains. In water, they swell due to an incorporated and hydrophilic polymer component and thus obtain a high increase in volume. In some gels, it comes up to 90 percent water content.