Hydrogel Synthesis and Design

  • Michael J. Majcher
  • Todd HoareEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the Polymers and Polymeric Composites: A Reference Series book series (POPOC)


The capacity to exploit the many possible applications of hydrogels is strongly tied to our capacity to synthesize hydrogels with well-defined chemistries and structures. Herein, we review the major strategies used for the synthesis of hydrogels, focusing on the key choices to be made in terms of the chemical and structural properties of the backbone polymer, the nature of the crosslinking strategy used (in terms of both the mechanism and the permanence of network formation), and the length scale at which network formation is conducted. The impacts of these various choices on the ultimate properties of the hydrogels generated are emphasized in the context of the rational design of hydrogel compositions and structures for target applications.



Dimethyl 2,2′-azobis(2-methylpropionate)






Cellulose nanocrystals


Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide


Copper(I)-catalyzed alkyne-azide click reaction


Coefficient of variance


Dendrimer-based hydrogels


Generally recognized as safe (FDA)


Methacrylated gelatin


Hyaluronic acid, HA


Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose


Interpenetrating polymer network


International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry


Poly(acrylic acid)




Poly(allylamine hydrochloride)




Poly(ɛ -caprolactone)


Poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride)


Poly(d-lactic acid)


Poly(ethylene glycol)


Poly(ethylene oxide)


Poly(hydroxyethyl methacrylate)


Poly(lactic acid)




Poly(l-lactic acid)


Poly(methacrylic acid)




Poly(oligoethylene glycol methacrylate)


Poly(oligolactic acid methacrylate)


Poly(propylene fumarate)


Particle replication in non-wetting templates


Poly(styrene sulfonate)




Poly(vinyl alcohol)




Quantum dots


Strain-promoted alkyne-azide click reactions


Sodium trimetaphosphate


Sodium tripolyphosphate


Transmission electron microscopy




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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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