Advances in modified hyaluronic acid-based hydrogels for skin wound healing
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a natural linear anionic polysaccharide with many unique characteristics such as excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability, native biofunctionality, hydrophilicity, and non-immunoreactivity. HA plays crucial roles in numerous biological processes, including the inflammatory response, cell adhesion, migration, proliferation, differentiation, angiogenesis, and tissue regeneration. All these properties and biological functions of HA make it an appealing material for the synthesis of biomedical hydrogels for skin wound healing. Since HA is not able to be gelate alone, it must be processed and functionalized through chemical modifications and crosslinking to generate versatile HA-based hydrogels. In recent years, different physical and chemical crosslinking strategies for HA-based hydrogels have been developed and designed, such as radical polymerization, Schiff-base crosslinking, enzymatic crosslinking, and dynamic covalent crosslinking, and they have broad and promising applications in skin wound healing and tissue engineering. In this review, we focus on chemical modification and crosslinking strategies for HA-based hydrogels, aiming to provide an overview of the latest advances in the development of HA-based hydrogels for skin wound healing. We summarize and propose feasible measures for the application of HA-based hydrogels for skin treatment, and discuss future application trends, which may ultimately promote HA-based hydrogels as a promising biomaterial for clinical applications.