Wound healing is a major burden of healthcare systems worldwide and hydrogel dressings offer a moist environment conducive to healing. We describe cysteine-containing ultrashort peptides that self-assemble spontaneously into hydrogels. After disulfide crosslinking, the optically-transparent hydrogels became significantly stiffer and exhibited high shape fidelity. The peptide sequence (LIVAGKC or LK6C) was then chosen for evaluation on mice with full-thickness excision wounds. Crosslinked LK6C hydrogels are handled easily with forceps during surgical procedures and offer an improvement over our earlier study of a non-crosslinked peptide hydrogel for burn wounds. LK6C showed low allergenic potential and failed to provoke any sensitivity when administered to guinea pigs in the Magnusson-Kligman maximization test. When applied topically as a dressing, the medium-infused LK6C hydrogel accelerated re-epithelialization compared to controls. The peptide hydrogel is thus safe for topical application and promotes a superior rate and quality of wound healing.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Sep 7 2016|