Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 44, Issue 6, pp 1931–1945 | Cite as

Hypoxia-Sensitive Materials for Biomedical Applications

  • Jicheng Yu
  • Yuqi Zhang
  • Xiuli Hu
  • Grace Wright
  • Zhen GuEmail author
Emerging Trends in Biomaterials Research


Hypoxia is a typical hallmark of various diseases, including cancer, ischemic diseases, and stroke. It is also associated with the disease progression. Therefore, it is critical to develop an effective strategy to target the hypoxic region for diagnosis and treatment. In this review, we summarize recent progress in the development of hypoxia-responsive systems for imaging, sensing and therapy. Two types of hypoxia-sensitive systems, the hypoxia inducible factor-1 based systems and bioreductive molecule based systems, were reviewed with comments on their advantages and limitations. Future opportunities and challenges are also discussed in the end.


Hypoxia-responsive Drug delivery Bioimaging Hypoxia inducible factor-1 Bioreductive molecule 



This work was supported by the Grants from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to Z.G. (1-14-JF-29 and 1-15-ACE-21) and the Grant from NC TraCS, NIH’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA, NIH Grant 1UL1TR001111) at UNC-CH.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jicheng Yu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yuqi Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiuli Hu
    • 3
  • Grace Wright
    • 1
  • Zhen Gu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Joint Department of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Molecular Pharmaceutics Division, Eshelman School of PharmacyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry and Physics, Changchun Institute of Applied ChemistryChinese Academy of SciencesChangchunPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of MedicineUniversity of North Carolina School of MedicineChapel HillUSA

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