Articles | 2015

ACS Nano, 2015, 9 (5):4686–4697

Nanocomposite hydrogels: 3D polymer-nanoparticle synergies for on-demand drug delivery

Sonia Merino , Cristina Martin , Kostas Kostarelos , Maurizio Prato*, Ester Vázquez*

Considerable progress in the synthesis and technology of hydrogels makes these materials attractive structures for designing controlled-release drug delivery systems. In particular, this review highlights the latest advances in nanocomposite hydrogels as drug delivery vehicles. The inclusion/incorporation of nanoparticles in three dimensional polymeric structures is an innovative means for obtaining multicomponent systems with diverse functionality within a hybrid hydrogel network. Nanoparticle-hydrogel combination adds synergistic benefits to the new 3D structures. Nanogels as carriers for cancer therapy and injectable gels with improved self-healing properties have also been described as new nanocomposite systems.