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Keywords:

  • Hydrogels;
  • Low molecular weight gelators;
  • Self-assembly;
  • Supramolecular chemistry;
  • Smart materials

Abstract

Over the past years, the gelation of aqueous solutions by low molecular weight (LMW) compounds has become an area of increasing interest, owing to developments in the field of LMW organogelators. Until recently, LMW hydrogelators were found only by serendipity, nowadays rational design as well as application of LMW hydrogelators has become feasible. As a consequence, an increasing number of responsive and functional LMW hydrogels are reported, offering great prospects for diverse applications including drug delivery and smart materials. (© Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 69451 Weinheim, Germany, 2005)