Polysaccharide-based hydrogels are very promising materials for a wide range of medical applications, ranging from tissue engineering to controlled drug delivery for local therapy. The most interesting property of this class of materials is the ability to be injected without any alteration of their chemical, mechanical and biological properties, by taking advantage of their thixotropic behavior. It is possible to modulate the rheological and chemical-physical properties of polysaccharide hydrogels by varying the cross-linking agents and exploiting their thixotropic behavior. We present here an overview of our synthetic strategies and applications of innovative polysaccharide-based hydrogels: hyaluronan-based hydrogel and new derivatives of carboxymethylcellulose have been used as matrices in the field of tissue engineering; while guar gum-based hydrogel and hybrid magnetic hydrogels, have been used as promising systems for targeted controlled drug release. Moreover, a new class of materials, interpenetrating hydrogels (IPH), have been obtained by mixing various native thixotropic hydrogels.
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