- Scientists are developing a protein-based gel substance for more effective delivery of medication.
- This new hydrogel is a three-dimensional polymer network. Because of this, the gel reacts to chemical and physical stimuli like temperature and acidity. As a result, the substance can transform reversibly from solution to gel depending on its surrounding.
- This invention is unique and it is the only thermo-responsive protein gel. The uniqueness it has comes from the single coiled-coil protein that is at the base of this substance. Because of the nature of this protein compound, the gel reacts and changes without a need to add external agents.
About the Research
The thermo-responsive protein hydrogel is a product of a multidisciplinary research project. The research team is from NYU Tandon School of Engineering and it is led by Jin Kim Montclare. The article about the research on the hydrogel is available through the journal Biomacromolecules.
The significance of the Thermo-Responsive Protein Hydrogel
Conventional synthetic hydrogels are effective in their job. That is, they can release the necessary substance onto the skin or other surfaces. But they have a limit to the scope of their effectiveness. As they are from synthetic materials they do not react with organic matter as well as the new protein-based gel.
Through this research, scientists are advancing our effectiveness at treatment and healing. This is because the new gel is biocompatible with human tissue and therefore more effective at distributing medical substances.
This new advancement will not change the medication delivery system only. The scientists believe it may influence regenerative medicine and tissue engendering in the future. However, new research needs to be done before the gel can be adapted for those purposes.
- The discovery of the protein hydrogel is only the beginning. New research needs to be done on the nature of the gel before we can use it on a regular basis.