Microscale hydrogels for medicine and biology: Synthesis characteristics and applications

Christopher Rivest, David W.G. Morrison, Bin Ni, Jamie Rubin, Vikramaditya Yadav, Alborz Mahdavi, Jeffrey M. Karp, Ali Khademhosseini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Microscale hydrogels with dimensions of 200 μm or less are powerful tools for various biomedical applications such as tissue engineering, drug delivery, and biosensors, due to their size, biocompatibility, and their controllable biological, chemical, and mechanical properties. In this review, we provide a broad overview of the approaches used to synthesize and characterize microgels, as well as their applications. We discuss the various methods used to fabricate microgels, such as emulsification, micromolding, microfluidics, and photolithography. Furthermore, we discuss the effects of porosity and crosslinking density on the mechanical and biological properties of hydrogels. In addition, we give specific examples of the use of hydrogels, such as scaffolds and cell encapsulation for tissue engineering, controlled release materials for drug delivery, and environmentally sensitive sensors for microdevices. Finally, we will discuss the future applications of this technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1103-1119
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Mechanics of Materials and Structures
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • BioMEMS
  • Biomaterials
  • Biosensor
  • Drug delivery
  • Hydrophilic polymer
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Stem cells
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Microscale hydrogels for medicine and biology: Synthesis characteristics and applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this