SHAFAQNA- Iranian Researchers at Arak University have produced a type of nanocomposite hydrogel with self-healing properties that can be used in photodynamic therapy for cancer.
Chitosan is a natural polymer with excellent biocompatibility, but poor mechanical properties. Dr. Alireza Karimi, the project manager, said the present study was an attempt to produce hydrogels with desirable biological, self-healing, mechanical and electrical properties by creating a nanocomposite with the help of carbon nanotube.
These hydrogels are able to heal themselves in case of injury without the need for outside involvement, he added.
According to the researcher, the produced structure can act as a nanoreactor and has applications in various medical fields, gas separation and energy storage.
“We used of carbon nanotubes to synthetize the hydrogel. Carbon nanotubes have lend their unique mechanical and electrical properties to the finalized version of the synthetized hydrogel,” he said.
Karimi maintained that the hydrogels can be used in targeted drug delivery, adding “the self-healing hydrogels have the ability to modify their forms against strain and then return to their original state once the tension is removed.”
According to him, the hydrogel has applications in photodynamic therapy for cancer and injuries of soft tissues such as the skin.
The results of the research have been published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Vol. 8, No. 40, 2016, pp. 27254-27263.