Synthetic polymer hydrogels

Anitha C. Kumar*, Harikrishna Erothu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


Polymer hydrogels are a rapidly developing group of materials, gaining wide application in different fields, such as pharmaceuticals, medicine, and agriculture. This chapter provides information and a classification of synthetic polymer hydrogels in accordance with their chemical structure, properties, and applications. Gels can be differentiated by the nature of cross-linking into: physical gels and chemical gels. Synthetic polymer hydrogels differ in their characteristics due to various chemical structures, synthesis technique, and water content or cross-linking. A change in chemical composition or even a change in one of the synthesis factors may lead to new intelligent biomaterials. Copolymerization/cross-linking free-radical polymerizations are commonly used to produce hydrogels by reacting hydrophilic monomers with multifunctional cross-linkers. Water-soluble linear polymers of both natural and synthetic origin are cross-linked to form hydrogels in a number of ways. The structural properties of gels make them useful for various kinds of applications such as sensors, contact lenses, artificial organs, and drug delivery systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiomedical applications of polymeric materials and composites
EditorsRaju Francis, D. Sakthi Kumar
Place of PublicationWeinheim (DE)
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-527-69091-6, 978-3-527-69094-7, 978-3-527-69092-3, 978-3-527-69093-0, 978-3-527-69091-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-527-33836-8
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2016


  • artificial organs
  • contact lenses
  • drug delivery system
  • free-radical polymerization
  • hydrophilic monomers
  • multifunctional cross-linker
  • synthetic polymer hydrogels
  • water-soluble linear polymers


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  • Hydrophilic polymers

    Erothu, H. & Kumar, A. C., 7 Oct 2016, Biomedical applications of polymeric materials and composites. Francis, R. & Kumar, D. S. (eds.). Weinheim (DE): Wiley, p. 163-185 23 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter

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