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Injectable Fibro-gel for on demand drug delivery and wound healing

Professor Anderson H.C. Shum of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and his team worked on the research for the topic “Fibro-Gel: An All-Aqueous Hydrogel Consisting of Microfibers with Tunable Release Profile and its Application in Wound Healing”. This work is a collaboration with Professor Howard A. Stone from Princeton University and Professor Michael K.T. To from Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology of HKU. The research is recently published and featured by Advanced Materials on February 15, 2023.

Details of the publication:

“Fibro-Gel: An All-Aqueous Hydrogel Consisting of Microfibers with Tunable Release Profile and its Application in Wound Healing”

Yanting Shen, Yuan Liu, Janine K. Nunes, Chenmin Wang, Miao Xu, Michael K.T. To,* Howard A. Stone,* and Ho Cheung Shum*

Article in Advanced Materials,


Injectable hydrogels are valuable tools in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine due to their unique advantages of injectability with minimal invasiveness and usability for irregularly shaped sites. However, it remains challenging to achieve scalable manufacturing together with matching physicochemical properties and on-demand drug release for a high level of control over biophysical and biomedical cues to direct endogenous cells. Here, the use of an injectable fibro-gel is demonstrated, a water-filled network of entangled hydrogel microfibers, whose physicochemical properties and drug release profiles can be tailored to overcome these shortcomings. This fibro-gel exhibits favorable in vitro biocompatibility and the capability to aid vascularization. The potential use of the fibro-gel for advancing tissue regeneration is explored with a mice excision skin model. Preliminary in vivo tests indicate that the fibro-gel promotes wound healing and new healthy tissue regeneration at a faster rate than a commercial gel. Moreover, it is demonstrated that the release of distinct drugs at different rates can further accelerate wound healing with higher efficiency, by using a two-layer fibro-gel model. The combination of injectability and tailorable properties of this fibro-gel offers a promising approach in biomedical fields such as therapeutic delivery, medical dressings, and 3D tissue scaffolds for tissue engineering.

Note: Pictures are reproduced under the terms of the CC-BY license. [Adv. Mater. 2023, 35, 2211637]

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