Hydrogels have been used primarily in the pharmaceutical field as carriers for delivery of various drugs, peptides and proteins. These systems have included stimuli-responsive gels that exhibit reversible swelling behavior and hence can show modulated release in response to external stimuli such as pH, temperature, ionic strength, electric field, or specific analyte concentration gradients. The focus of this article is to review molecular imprinting within hydrogels and discuss recent efforts on analyte-responsive intelligent gels, specifically suggesting the possibility of utilizing molecular imprinting strategies to impart analyte specificity and responsiveness within these systems. Molecular imprinting is an emerging field that produces precise chemical architecture that can bind analytes and differentiate between similar molecules with enantiomeric resolution. On the forefront of imprinting gel systems are intelligent, stimuli-sensitive imprinted gels that modify their swelling behavior and in turn modulate their analyte binding abilities. We discuss the challenges creating an imprinting effect in hydrogels and the possibilities of using molecularly imprinted mechanisms within controlled release gels.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science