We report an efficient growth factor delivering system based on polypeptide/heparin composite hydrogels for wound healing application. Linear and star-shaped poly(L-lysine) (l-PLL and s-PLL) were chosen due to not only their cationic characteristics, facilitating the efficient complexation of negatively charged heparin, but also the ease to tune the physical and mechanical properties of as-prepared hydrogels simply by varying polypeptide topology and chain length. The results showed that polymer topology can be an additional parameter to tune hydrogel properties. Our experimental data showed that these composite hydrogels exhibited low hemolytic activity and good cell compatibility as well as excellent antibacterial activity, making them ideal as wound dressing materials. Unlike other heparin-based hydrogels, these composite hydrogels with heparin densely deposited on the surface can increase the stabilization and concentration of growth factor, which can facilitate the healing process as confirmed by our in vivo animal model. We believe that these PLL/heparin composite hydrogels are promising wound dressing materials and may have potential applications in other biomedical fields.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering