Texas A&M University,
Keywords: hydrogels, click chemistry, biomaterials, regeneration
Summary:Click chemistry has emerged as a powerful and versatile tool for biomaterials synthesis. However, it is not one specific reaction. Rather, click chemistry encompasses a toolkit of reactions exhibiting excellent functional group selectivity, fast reaction kinetics, and high efficiency. Moreover, click-type reactions use materials and reagents that are readily available, proceed under mild reaction conditions, and produce only inoffensive or easily removed byproducts. Several reactions fitting the click chemistry paradigm have now been introduced to the biomaterials synthesis toolkit, giving scientists unprecedented control over the assembly and physicochemical properties of biomaterials. This talk will highlight the impact that these tools are having on the synthesis of cell-instructive hydrogel biomaterials being designed to guide tissue regeneration. Specific emphasis will be given to thiol-ene and tetrazine click reactions due to their unique complementarity and broad utility for engineering hydrogels to deliver cellular and protein therapeutics. Recent results integrating the thiol-ene and tetrazine click reactions for hydrogel synthesis will be presented. Finally, a view on the broader role of click chemistry in the establishment of foundries for regenerative biomaterials synthesis will be presented and discussed.