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Moist-Retaining, Self-Recoverable, Bioadhesive, and Transparent in Situ Forming Hydrogels To Accelerate Wound Healing

Jun Li, Fan Yu, Gong Chen, Jia Liu, Xiao-Long Li, Biao Cheng, Xiu-Mei Mo, Cheng Chen, Jian-Feng Pan
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2020 v.12 no.2 pp. 2023-2038
bioadhesives, biocompatibility, biodegradability, chitosan, collagen, compliance, crosslinking, deformation, gelation, granulation tissue, hydrogels, hydrophilicity, laboratory animals, oxidation, rats, schiff bases, starch, therapeutics, tissue repair
In the management of accelerating wound healing, moist environments play an important role. Compared with other scaffolds of various forms, hydrogels can maintain a moist environment in the wound area. They are cross-linked hydrophilic polymeric networks that resemble natural soft tissues and extracellular matrices. Among them, injectable hydrogels have attracted great attention in wound repair, as they can be injected into irregular-shaped skin defects and formed in situ to shape the contour of different dimensions. The excellent compliance makes hydrogels easy to adapt to the wound under different conditions of skin movement. Here, we oxidized hydroxyethyl starch (O-HES) and modified carboxymethyl chitosan (M-CMCS) to fabricate an in situ forming hydrogel with excellent self-recoverable extensibility–compressibility, biocompatibility, biodegradability, and transparency for accelerating wound healing. The oxidation degree of O-HES was 74%. The amino modification degree of M-CMCS was 63%. M-CMCS/O-HES hydrogels were formed through the Schiff base reaction. The physicochemical properties of M-CMCS/O-HES hydrogels with various ratios were investigated, and M-CMCS/O-HES hydrogel with a volume ratio of 5:5 exhibited appropriate gelation time, notable water-retaining capacity, self-recoverable conformal deformation, suitable biodegradability, and good biocompatibility for wound-healing application. Then, skin wound-healing experimental studies were carried out in Sprague–Dawley rats with full-thickness skin defects. Significant outcomes were achieved in the M-CMCS/O-HES hydrogel-treated group including higher wound closure percentage, more granulation tissue formation, faster epithelialization, and decreased collagen deposition. These findings demonstrate that using the obtained M-CMCS/O-HES hydrogels is a promising therapeutic strategy for wound healing.