Hydrogels are water-swollen polymeric materials that maintain a distinct three-dimensional structure. They were the first biomaterials designed for use in the human body . Traditional methods of biomaterials synthesis include crosslinking copolymerization, crosslinking of reactive polymer precursors, and crosslinking via polymer-polymer reaction. These methods of hydrogel synthesis were limited in the control of their detailed structure. Due to side reactions the networks contain cycles, unreacted pendant groups, and entanglements. Other inadequacies of traditional hydrogels have been poor mechanical properties and slow or delayed response times to external stimuli . Novel approaches in hydrogel design have revitalized this field of biomaterials research. New ideas on the design of hydrogels with substantially enhanced mechanical properties, superporous and comb-type grafted hydrogels with fast response times, self-assembling hydrogels from hybrid graft copolymers with property-controlling protein domains, and from genetically engineered triblock copolymers are just a few examples of hydrogel biomaterials with a smart future.