Hydrogels and Hydrogel Nanocomposites: Enhancing Healthcare through Human and Environmental Treatment

Angela M. Gutierrez, Erin Molly Frazar, Maria Victoria Maria, Pranto Paul, J. Zach Hilt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Humans are constantly exposed to exogenous chemicals throughout their life, which can lead to a multitude of negative health impacts. Advanced materials can play a key role in preventing or mitigating these impacts through a wide variety of applications. The tunable properties of hydrogels and hydrogel nanocomposites (e.g., swelling behavior, biocompatibility, stimuli responsiveness, functionality, etc.) have deemed them ideal platforms for removal of environmental contaminants, detoxification, and reduction of body burden from exogenous chemical exposures for prevention of disease initiation, and advanced treatment of chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In this review, three main junctures where the use of hydrogel and hydrogel nanocomposite materials can intervene to positively impact human health are highlighted: 1) preventing exposures to environmental contaminants, 2) prophylactic treatments to prevent chronic disease initiation, and 3) treating chronic diseases after they have developed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2101820
JournalAdvanced healthcare materials
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 6 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at the National Institutes of Health [P42ES007380].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • chronic diseases
  • hydrogel nanocomposites
  • hydrogels
  • remediations
  • therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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