Hydrogels can mimic several features of the cell native microenvironment and have been widely used as synthetic extracellular matrices (ECMs) in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine (TERM). However, some applications have specifications that hydrogels cannot efficiently fulfill on their own. Incorporating reinforcing structures like fibrous scaffolds or particles into hydrogels, as hybrid systems, is a promising strategy to improve their functionality. We describe recent advances in the fabrication and application of these hybrid systems, where structural properties and stimuli responsiveness of hydrogels are enhanced while their ECM-like features are preserved.
Source: Bio Technology