BACKGROUND: Skin injury and the resultant defects are common clinical problems, and usually lead to chronic skin ulcers and even life-threatening diseases. Copper, an essential trace element of human body, has been reported to promote the regeneration of skin by stimulating proliferation of endothelial cell and enhance angiogenesis.
RESULTS: Herein, we have prepared a new donut-like metal-organic frameworks (MOF) of copper-nicotinic acid (CuNA) by a simple solvothermal reaction. The rough surface of CuNA is beneficial for loading/release basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). The CuNAs with/without bFGF are easily processed into a light-responsive composite hydrogel with GelMA, which not only show excellent mechanical properties, but also display superior biocompatibility, antibacterial ability and bioactivity. Moreover, in the in vivo full-thickness defect model of skin wound, the resultant CuNA-bFGF@GelMA hydrogels significantly accelerate the wound healing, by simultaneously inhibiting the inflammatory response, promoting the new blood vessels formation and the deposition of collagen and elastic fibers.
CONCLUSIONS: Considering the superior biocompatibility, antibacterial ability and bioactivity, the CuNA and its composite light-responsive hydrogel system will be promising in the applications of skin and even other tissue regeneration.