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Keywords:

  • bisphosphonates;
  • calcium-binding;
  • coordination bonds;
  • hydrogels;
  • metal-polymer complexes

This study demonstrates, for the first time, that synthetic PEG-based hydrogels can be cross-linked reversibly by calcium upon functionalization of the polymer backbone with bisphosphonate groups (BPs) that allow for the formation of strong coordination bonds with divalent metal ions such as Mg2+ and Ca2+. More specifically, it is shown that BP-functionalized hydrogels can be shaped by providing calcium ions as reversible physical cross-linkers.mabi201300117-gra-0001