PRODUCTION, CLASSIFICATION, AND PHARMACEUTICAL APPLICATION
Polymers are macromolecules made up of smaller units, the monomers, offering advantages for their different physical and chemical properties; being classified according to their nature in natural (biopolymers) and synthetic. Among the polymeric biomaterials are hydrogels, which are 3D polymeric networks with the ability to absorb a large volume of water. Characteristics such as flexibility, chemical and physical versatility, response to stimuli, and resilient structure are the main advantages of hydrogels, which are classified based on their origin, crosslinking, polymerization method, biodegradability, physical properties, and ionic charge. Hydrogels are used in various fields, yet most of the research is taking place in the field of biomedical applications because of their similarity to tissue, biocompatibility, and biodegradability. Based on this, this narrative type of literature review was conducted by searching articles indexed in the databases: PubMed, SciELO, Science direct, BVS, MedLine and Lilacs. As inclusion criteria, the articles should be between 2015 to 2020, freely available in the databases, with the following descriptors in the title and/or abstract: Hydrogels, Polymeric biomaterials, Obtaining, Classification and Pharmaceutical applications, those that did not have these criteria were excluded from the review. After the inclusion criteria 41 articles were used, aiming to detail the main characteristics and classifications of hydrogels that enable their use in various pharmaceutical applications. Based on the studies, the use of hydrogels in biomedical applications has been acquiring a key role, since due to their characteristics they have the ability to adapt to the needs of the desired application, although studies are still needed to improve them even more.
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