Lignin is the second most abundant biopolymer on the planet. It is a biocompatible, cheap, environmentally friendly and readily accessible material. It has been reported that these biomacromolecules have antimicrobial activities. Consequently, lignin (LIG) has the potential to be used for biomedical applications. In the present work, a simple method to prepare lignin-based hydrogels is described. The hydrogels were prepared by combining LIG with poly(ethyleneglycol) and poly(methyl vinyl ether-co-maleic acid) through an esterification reaction. The synthesis took place in the solid state and can be accelerated significantly (24h vs 1h) by the use of microwave (MW) radiation. The prepared hydrogels were characterized by evaluation of their swelling capacities and with the use of infrared spectroscopy/solid state nuclear magnetic resonance. The prepared hydrogels showed LIG contents ranging between 40% and 24% and water uptake capabilities up to 500%. Furthermore, the hydrophobic nature of LIG facilitated loading of a model hydrophobic drug (curcumin). The hydrogels were capable of sustaining the delivery of this compound for up to 4 days. Finally, the materials demonstrated logarithmic reductions in adherence of Staphylococcus aureus and Proteus mirabilis of up to 5.0 relative to the commonly employed medical material poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC).