Enzymatic crosslinking to fabricate antioxidant peptide-based supramolecular hydrogel for improving cutaneous wound healing†
Peptide-based supramolecular hydrogels are promising scaffold materials and have been utilized in many fields. The mechanical properties of peptide hydrogels are usually enhanced by synthetic or natural polymers to expand their application scope. In this study, antioxidant supramolecular hydrogels based on feruloyl-modified peptide and glycol chitosan were fabricated via a mild laccase-mediated crosslinking reaction. A natural polysaccharide derivative, feruloyl glycol chitosan (GC-Fer), was used to enhance the mechanical properties of peptide hydrogels. Feruloyl groups were introduced into the gel matrix via covalent bonds, which endowed the hydrogels with inherent antioxidant properties. This was beneficial for their in vivo application via scavenging harmful free radicals existing in a cutaneous wound. Further in vivo experiments demonstrated that the feruloyl-containing antioxidant hydrogel can improve the cutaneous wound healing process. The regeneration process of mature epithelium and connective tissues was accelerated in a full-thickness skin defect model.