Development of elastomeric and adhesive nanocomposite hydrogels for dermatological and wound care applications
Hydrogels have been long considered as a favorable biomaterial to cover topical wounds or close surgical incisions in dermatology because of their good biocompatibility and structural similarity with the aqueous environment of extracellular matrix. Their high water content and porous structure are biologically beneficial but these properties result in low mechanical strength and lack of adhesion to natural tissues. These deficiencies make it difficult for patients and health professionals to apply hydrogel dressings on acute wounds and deep burns. Approaches that can enhance both mechanical and adhesive properties of hydrogels will improve their applications in dressings and bandages to skin when immediate wound care or closure is necessary. This dissertation will focus on engineering the mechanical and adhesive properties of hydrogels for dermatological and wound care applications. The synthesis and formulation of nanocomposite hydrogels with both physically and covalently crosslinked networks will be presented along with elastomeric and adhesive property characterization. The resulting hydrogels can be extensively deformed and adhere to various surfaces such as metal, glass, collagen sheet and skin. The adhesive properties and deformability of the hydrogels are useful for the further development of robust hydrogels that adhere to skin and wounded tissue upon contact. We expect these hydrogels to have potential for dermatological applications including adhesive transdermal patches, temporary wound covers or hydrogel bandages for skin regeneration.
Schmidt, Purdue University.
Biomedical engineering|Materials science
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