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Keywords:

  • drug delivery;
  • extracellular matrix;
  • heparin;
  • hyaluronic acid;
  • hybrid hydrogels;
  • microgels;
  • networks;
  • polysaccharide particles;
  • tissue engineering

Abstract

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Artificial ECMs that not only closely mimic the hybrid nature of the natural ECM but also provide tunable material properties and enhanced biological functions are attractive candidates for tissue engineering applications. This review summarizes recent advances in developing multicomponent hybrid hydrogels by integrating modular and heterogeneous building blocks into well-defined, multifunctional hydrogel composites. The individual building blocks can be chemically, morphologically, and functionally diverse, and the hybridization can occur at molecular level or microscopic scale. The modular nature of the designs, combined with the potential synergistic effects of the hybrid systems, has resulted in novel hydrogel matrices with robust structure and defined functions.