Biocompatible Diselenide-Containing Protein Hydrogels with Effective Visible-Light-Initiated Self-Healing Properties

Polymers (Basel). 2021 Dec 13;13(24):4360. doi: 10.3390/polym13244360.


Smart hydrogels are typical functional soft materials, but their functional and mechanical properties are compromised upon micro- or macro-mechanical damage. In contrast, hydrogels with self-healing properties overcome this limitation. Herein, a dual dynamic bind, cross-linked, self-healing protein hydrogel is prepared, based on Schiff base bonds and diselenide bonds. The Schiff base bond is a typical dynamic covalent bond and the diselenide bond is an emerging dynamic covalent bond with a visible light response, which gives the resulting hydrogel a dual response in visible light and a desirable self-healing ability. The diselenide-containing protein hydrogels were biocompatible due to the fact that their main component was protein. In addition, the hydrogels loaded with glucose oxidase (GOx) could be transformed into sols in glucose solution due to the sensitive response of the diselenide bonds to the generated hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) by enzymatic catalysis. This work demonstrated a diselenide-containing protein hydrogel that could efficiently self-heal up to nearly 100% without compromising their mechanical properties under visible light at room temperature.

PMID:34960914 | PMC:PMC8707953 | DOI:10.3390/polym13244360


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