Surgical wound care: current views on minimising dressing-related pain

Injectable self-healing hydrogel dressing with multifunctional properties including anti-infection, anti-oxidative and conductivity promoting wound healing process will be highly desired in wound healing application and its design is still a challenge. We developed a series of injectable conductive self-healed hydrogels based on quaternized chitosan-g-polyaniline (QCSP) and benzaldehyde group functionalized poly(ethylene glycol)-co-poly(glycerol sebacate) (PEGS-FA) as antibacterial, anti-oxidant and electroactive dressing for cutaneous wound healing. These hydrogels presented good self-healing, electroactivity, free radical scavenging capacity, antibacterial activity, adhesiveness, conductivity, swelling ratio, and biocompatibility. Interestingly, the hydrogel with an optimal crosslinker concentration of 1.5 wt% PEGS-FA showed excellent in vivo blood clotting capacity, and it significantly enhanced in vivo wound healing process in a full-thickness skin defect model than quaternized chitosan/PEGS-FA hydrogel and commercial dressing (Tegaderm™ film) by upregulating the gene expression of growth factors including VEGF, EGF and TGF-β and then promoting granulation tissue thickness and collagen deposition. Taken together, the antibacterial electroactive injectable hydrogel dressing prolonged the lifespan of dressing relying on self-healing ability and significantly promoted the in vivo wound healing process attributed to its multifunctional properties, meaning that they are excellent candidates for full-thickness skin wound healing.