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Synthesis, properties, and biomedical applications of gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) hydrogels

The article, Synthesis, properties, and biomedical applications of gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) hydrogels by Yue et al., discusses several important aspects of GelMA-based hydrogel systems for biomedical applications. GelMA is created through a one-step chemical modification of gelatin, a natural polymer. The addition of photocrosslinkable methacryloyl substitution groups allows for easy and fast gelation in the presence of photoinitiators when exposed to light. GelMA hydrogels have been extensively researched in terms of physical and biochemical properties for a variety of applications, including tissue engineering, drug and gene delivery, and more.

Due to their appropriate biological properties and tunable physical characteristics, gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) hydrogels have been widely used for various biomedical applications such as cell cultivation. Due to the presence of cell-attaching and matrix metalloproteinase-sensitive peptide motifs, GelMA hydrogels closely resemble certain important properties of the native extracellular matrix (ECM). This characteristic allows cells to easily multiply on GelMA-based platforms.

GelMA is also adaptable in terms of production. When exposed to light, it shapes crosslinked hydrogels with tunable mechanical properties. It can also be microfabricated using a range of techniques such as micromolding, photomasking, bioprinting, self-assembly, and microfluidics to create managed architecture constructs. GelMA can also be mixed with nanoparticles such as carbon nanotubes and graphene oxide, as well as other polymers, to create hybrid hydrogel systems with the desired properties and characteristics for particular biological applications.

GelMA-based hydrogels have recently been shown to be effective in a number of tissue engineering applications, including the engineering of bone, cartilage, cardiac, and vascular tissues, among others. Aside from tissue engineering, GelMA hydrogels are used in fundamental cell science, cell signalling, drug and gene delivery, and bio-sensing.


Yue, K., Santiago, G., Alvarez, M., Tamayol, A., Annabi, N., & Khademhosseini, A. (2015, August 28). Synthesis, properties, and biomedical applications of gelatin methacryloyl (gelma) hydrogels. Retrieved March 03, 2021, from

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