New Research from the group of Dr. Zhen Li has recently been featured on the back cover of Soft Matter Magazine

June 11, 2020

New research on controlled drug delivery using smart hydrogels from the group of Dr. Zhen Li is featured on the back cover of Soft Matter. Stimuli-responsive hydrogels undergo a physicochemical transition in response to changes in external stimuli, leading to a variation of hydrogel porosity that dramatically affects the transport kinetics of entrapped drugs and nanoparticles, which is investigated in the paper entitled “Controlled release of entrapped nanoparticles from thermoresponsive hydrogels with tunable network characteristics. The authors studied the anomalous nanoparticle diffusion process encountered in stimuli-responsive hydrogels by stochastic simulations and quantified the impact of the tunable network characteristics of hydrogels and the particle size on the controlled release of nanoparticles. The results show that the diffusion coefficient of entrapped nanoparticles can be reduced by two orders of magnitude induced by hydrogel network collapses, or the diffusion processes can even be completely stopped. Their findings provide new insights for designing controlled drug release from stimuli-responsive hydrogels, including autonomously switch on/off drug release in response to physical and chemical stimuli. The article is available at