Innovative functional coatings and hydrogels for water and clean technologies, therapeutics and medical devices

Reches Meital, HUJI, Faculty of Science, The Institute of Chemistry

Innovative Functional Coatings and Hydrogels based on Polydopamine Spheres Coated by Magnetic Nanoparticles
Potential in water treatment, cleantech, cancer treatment, tissue engineering 


Nanoparticles, Nanoprocesses, Nano Materials and Nano Structures, Biomaterials, Processes, Water technologies, Drug delivery, Cancer therapy, Tissue engineering and regeneration, Nano-Medicine

Development Stage

Proof of concept – now checking potential applications

Patent Status

Patent application submitted


  • Peptide based gelators are biocompatible and can serve as soft materials for tissue engineering and cell/drug delivery. Magnetic gels are a new class of soft polymer materials consist of swollen polymeric networks with incorporated magnetic particles that have been studied as a potential treatment of cancer.
  • In this new approach, two different materials can be prepared from similar components - a hydrogel and adhesive tubes
  • The hydrogel can be utilized for encapsulation and adsorption and the tubes for localized drug release (a drug may be encapsulated in the tube which then sticks to a tissue).

Our Innovation

Platform technology for the spontaneous self-assembly of magnetic hydrogels. The approach involves the co-assembly of polydopamine (PDA) spheres, either bare or coated with Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles, with the short aromatic peptide diphenylalanine. The combination of polydopamine particles and diphenylalanine generated tubular structures decorated with adhesive spherical particles, while the co-assembly of the polydopamine spheres coated with magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles resulted in the formation of a magnetic hydrogel.




(a) The co-assembly processes under certain conditions; (A) PDA spheres in water (1mg/mL), (B) DPA in HFP (100mg/mL) and (C) PDA (1mg/ml): DPA (5mg/ml) in water (not to scale). (b) and (c) HR-SEM micrographs of the co-assembled structures under two different conditions, (d) TEM micrograph of the co-assembled structures after 18h of incubation.

Key Features

  • Spontaneous formation of magnetic gel or adhesive tubes from simple raw materials under normal laboratory conditions/at room temperature
  • The hydrogels are stable at room temperature for at least one month when preserved in a sealed tube.

Development Milestones

  • Research to determine the ability of the hydrogel to adsorb materials from its surroundings
  • Encapsulation and release profile of potent drugs from the hydrogel or sticky tubes
  • Activity profile of the hydrogel as a scaffold for cells

The Opportunity

  • Widespread applications in tissue engineering and regeneration
  • Scaffolds for cell growth
  • Possible new vehicle for applications such as –
  • drug delivery and enzyme immobilization
  • cancer therapy
  • purification of water from bacteria or metallic impurities
  • construction of artificial muscles and soft actuators
  • biosensing platform for biomolecules


Researcher Information          http://chem.ch.huji.ac.il/~mreches/, http://www.nanoscience.huji.ac.il/researchers/reches.htm


Contact for more information:

Ariela Markel
VP, Business Development, Healthcare
Contact ME:
All projects by:Reches Meital (3)