Enzymatically-Crosslinked Gelatin Hydrogels with Nanostructured Architecture and Self-Healing Performance for Potential Use as Wound Dressings

Polymers (Basel). 2023 Feb 3;15(3):780. doi: 10.3390/polym15030780.


Development of natural protein-based hydrogels with self-healing performance and tunable physical properties has attracted increased attention owing to their wide potential not only in the pharmaceutical field, but also in wounds management. This work reports the development of a versatile hydrogel based on enzymatically-crosslinked gelatin and nanogels loaded with amoxicillin (Amox), an antibiotic used in wound infections. The transglutaminase (TGase)-crosslinked hydrogels and encapsulating nanogels were formed rapidly through enzymatic crosslinking and self-assembly interactions in mild conditions. The nanogels formed through the self-assemble of maleoyl-chitosan (MAC5) and polyaspartic acid (PAS) may have positive influence on the self-healing capacity and drug distribution within the hydrogel network through the interactions established between gelatin and gel-like nanocarriers. The physicochemical properties of the enzymatically-crosslinked hydrogels, such as internal structure, swelling and degradation behavior, were studied. In addition, the Amox release studies indicated a rapid release when the pH of the medium decreased, which represents a favorable characteristic for use in the healing of infected wounds. It was further observed through the in vitro and in vivo biocompatibility assays that the optimized scaffolds have great potential to be used as wound dressings.

PMID:36772082 | DOI:10.3390/polym15030780


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