Bone tissue engineering (BTE) is constantly seeking novel treatments to address bone injuries in all their varieties. It is necessary to find new ways to create structures that perfectly emulate the native tissue. Self-healing hydrogels have been a breakthrough in this regard, as they are able to reconstitute their links after they have been partially broken. Among the most outstanding biomaterials when it comes to developing these hydrogels for BTE, those polymers of natural origin (e.g., gelatin, alginate) stand out, although synthetics such as PEG or nanomaterials like laponite are also key for this purpose. Self-healing hydrogels have proven to be efficient in healing bone, but have also played a key role as delivery-platforms for drugs or other biological agents. Moreover, some researchers have identified novel uses for these gels as bone fixators or implant coatings. Here, we review the progress of self-healing hydrogels, which hold great promise in the field of tissue engineering.
- Bone tissue engineering