Hydrogel Nanocomposites: Biomedical Applications, Biocompatibility, and Toxicity Analysis

  • Samantha A. Meenach
  • Kimberly W. Anderson
  • J. Zach Hilt
Part of the Nanostructure Science and Technology book series (NST)


Hydrogel nanocomposites are an important class of biomaterials that can be utilized in applications such as drug delivery, tissue engineering, and hyperthermia treatment. The incorporation of nanoparticles into a hydrogel matrix can provide unique properties including remote actuation and can also improve properties such as mechanical strength. Since hydrogel nanocomposites have been proposed as implantable biomaterials, it is important to analyze and understand the response of the body to these novel materials. This chapter covers the background, definitions, and potential applications of hydrogels and hydrogel nanocomposites. It also covers the various types of hydrogel nanocomposites as defined by the nanoparticulates embedded in the systems which include clay, metallic, magnetic, and semiconducting nanoparticles. The specific concerns of the biocompatibility analysis of hydrogel nanocomposites are discussed along with the specific biocompatibility results of the nanoparticulates incorporated into the hydrogel matrices as well as the biocompatibility of the hydrogels themselves. The limited data available on the biocompatibility of hydrogel nanocomposites is also presented. Overall, currently investigated hydrogel systems with known biocompatibility may have the potential to provide a “shielding” effect for the nanoparticulates in the hydrogel nanocomposites allowing them to be safer materials than the nanoparticulates alone.


Lower Critical Solution Temperature Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Bone Tissue Engineering Hydrogel Composite Hydrogel Nanocomposites 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samantha A. Meenach
    • 1
  • Kimberly W. Anderson
    • 2
  • J. Zach Hilt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Materials EngineeringUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Materials EngineeringUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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