The synthetic polymer, polyacrylamide derived from acrylamide monomer, was originally introduced for use as a support matrix for electrophoresis in 1959. Later, because of its applicability and economy, polyacrylamide has found widespread applications ranging from microanalysis to macro-fractionation for proteins, nucleic acid, and other biomolecules. On the other hand, recent years also witnessed increasing research interests in the potential of polyacrylamide acting as biomaterials. This review article will comprehensively present and discuss recent interesting patents classified according to the following highlights: (1) Enzyme immobilization within polyacrylamide gels; (2) Carriers for delivery of drugs and bioactive compounds; (3) Smart materials able to respond with stimulus; (4) Polyacrylamide-based matrices in extracorporeal toxin removal modalities; (5) Non-absorbable soft tissue fillers used for body contouring in reconstructive surgery or for cosmetic purposes. In summary, current researches and achievements of polyacrylamide have therefore well demonstrated its versatility and usefulness as biomaterials. Further developments of polyacrylamide-associated technologies will undoubtedly enhance the value and broaden the possibilities of applications of polyacrylamide in the field of biomaterials.
Polyacrylamide, biomaterial, enzyme immobilization, drug delivery, extracorporeal toxin removal, smart materials, soft tissue fillers
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Cheng Shiu University, 840 Cheng-Ching Road, Kaohsiung, Taiwan 83347.