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Rational Design of Immunomodulatory Hydrogels for Chronic Wound Healing

Kharaziha, M., Baidya, A. and Annabi, N., 2021. Rational Design of Immunomodulatory Hydrogels for Chronic Wound Healing. Advanced Materials, 33(39), p.2100176.
With all the advances in tissue engineering for construction of fully functional skin tissue, complete regeneration of chronic wounds is still challenging. Since immune reaction to the tissue damage is critical in regulating both the quality and duration of chronic wound healing cascade, strategies to modulate the immune system are of importance. Generally, in response to an injury, macrophages switch from pro-inflammatory to an anti-inflammatory phenotype. Therefore, controlling macrophages’ polarization has become an appealing approach in regenerative medicine. Recently, hydrogels-based constructs, incorporated with various cellular and molecular signals, have been developed and utilized to adjust immune cell functions in various stages of wound healing. Here, the current state of knowledge on immune cell functions during skin tissue regeneration is first discussed. Recent advanced technologies used to design immunomodulatory hydrogels for controlling macrophages’ polarization are then summarized. Rational design of hydrogels for providing controlled immune stimulation via hydrogel chemistry and surface modification, as well as incorporation of cell and molecules, are also dicussed. In addition, the effects of hydrogels’ properties on immunogenic features and the wound healing process are summarized. Finally, future directions and upcoming research strategies to control immune responses during chronic wound healing are highlighted.
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