An intrinsically bioactive hydrogel with on-demand drug release behaviors for diabetic wound healing

Bin Hu, Mingzhu Gao, Kofi Oti Boakye-Yiadom, William Ho, Wei Yu, Xiaoyang Xu, Xue Qing Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


Prolonged, intense inflammation and excessive oxidative stress hinder diabetic wounds from healing normally, leading to disorders downstream including the postponement of re-epithelialization and extracellular matrix (ECM) formation. Herein, we report a hyaluronic acid (HA) and chitosan based hydrogel (OHA-CMC) with inherent antibacterial and hemostatic activities fabricated via Schiff base reaction. By encapsulating nanotechnologically-modified curcumin (CNP) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) into the hydrogel, OHA-CMC/CNP/EGF exhibited extraordinary antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and migration-promoting effects in vitro. Meanwhile, OHA-CMC/CNP/EGF presented on-demand drug release in synchrony with the phases of the wound healing process. Specifically, curcumin was rapidly and constantly released to alleviate inflammation and oxidative stress in the early phase of wound healing, while a more gradual and sustained release of EGF supported late proliferation and ECM remodeling. In a diabetic full-thickness skin defect model, OHA-CMC/CNP/EGF dramatically improved wound healing with ideal re-epithelialization, granulation tissue formation, and skin appendage regeneration, highlighting the enormous therapeutic potential this biomaterial holds as a diabetic wound dressing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4592-4606
Number of pages15
JournalBioactive Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


  • Anti-Inflammation
  • Antioxidant
  • Bioactive hydrogel
  • Diabetic wound healing
  • Drug delivery


Dive into the research topics of 'An intrinsically bioactive hydrogel with on-demand drug release behaviors for diabetic wound healing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this