Abstract

Clinically, systemic antibiotic therapy and traditional dressings care are not satisfactory in treating chronic diabetic ulcers (DU). Therefore, we presented sprayable antibacterial hydrogel for effective treatment of DU by using antibacterial macromolecules (quaternized chitosan, QCS, Mn ≈ 1.5 × 105), photothermal antibacterial nanoparticles (ε-poly-l-lysine grafted graphene quantum dots, GQDs-ε-PL) and miocompatible macromolecules (benzaldehyde-terminated four-arm poly(ethylene glycol), 4 arm PEG-BA) as materials. The results revealed that the hydrogel could be in situ formed in 70–89 s through dynamic imine bonds crosslinking and exhibited a pH-dependent swelling ability and degradability. The hydrogel could respond to bacterial triggered acidic environment to play a synergistic effect of chemotherapy and xenon light irradiated PTT, leading to the rupture of the bacterial membrane and the inactivation of bacteria, promoting the migration and proliferation of fibroblast cell, enhancing the adhesion of platelet endothelial cell, and finally accelerating the healing of infected diabetic wound. Moreover, the hydrogel displayed self-healing, hemostatic, and biocompatible abilities, which could provide a better healing environment for wound and further promote wound healing. Hence, the multifunctional hydrogel is expected to be a potential dressing for the clinical treatment of DU.

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