Biomaterials and controlled release strategy for epithelial wound healing
The skin and cornea are tissues that provide protective functions. Trauma and other environmental threats often cause injuries, infections and damage to these tissues, where the degree of injury is directly correlated to the recovery time. For example, a superficial skin or corneal wound may recover within days; however, more severe injuries can last up to several months and may leave scarring. Thus, therapeutic strategies have been introduced to enhance the wound healing efficiency and quality. Although the skin and cornea share similar anatomic structures and wound healing process, therapeutic agents and formulations for skin and cornea wound healing differ in accordance with the tissue and wound type. In this review, we describe the anatomy and epithelial wound healing processes of the skin and cornea, and summarize the therapeutic molecules that are beneficial to the respective regeneration process. In addition, biomaterial scaffolds that inherently possess bioactive properties or modified with therapeutic molecules for topical controlled release and enhanced wound healing efficiency are also discussed.