Sustained release of stromal cell derived factor-1 from an antioxidant thermoresponsive hydrogel enhances dermal wound healing in diabetes

Yunxiao Zhu, Ryan Hoshi, Siyu Chen, Ji Yi, Chongwen Duan, Robert D. Galiano, Hao F. Zhang, Guillermo A. Ameer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are a severe complication of diabetes mellitus. Altered cell migration due to microcirculatory deficiencies as well as excessive and prolonged reactive oxygen species production are implicated in the delayed healing of DFUs. The goal of this research was to assess whether sustained release of SDF-1, a chemokine that promotes endothelial progenitor cell homing and angiogenesis, from a citrate-based antioxidant thermoresponsive polymer would significantly improve impaired dermal wound healing in diabetes. Poly (polyethylene glycol citrate-co-N-isopropylacrylamide) (PPCN) was synthesized via sequential polycondensation and free radical polymerization reactions. SDF-1 was entrapped via gelation of the PPCN + SDF-1 solution above its lower critical solution temperature (LCST) and its release and bioactivity was measured. The effect of sustained release of SDF-1 from PPCN (PPCN + SDF-1) versus a bolus application of SDF-1 in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) on wound healing was evaluated in a diabetic murine splinted excisional dermal wound model using gross observation, histology, immunohistochemistry, and optical coherence tomography microangiography. Increasing PPCN concentration decreased SDF-1 release rate. The time to 50% wound closure was 11 days, 16 days, 14 days, and 17 days for wounds treated with PPCN + SDF-1, SDF-1 only, PPCN only, and PBS, respectively. Wounds treated with PPCN + SDF-1 had the shortest time for complete healing (24 days) and exhibited accelerated granulation tissue production, epithelial maturation, and the highest density of perfused blood vessels. In conclusion, sustained release of SDF-1 from PPCN is a promising and easy to use therapeutic strategy to improve the treatment of chronic non-healing DFUs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-122
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
StatePublished - Sep 28 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidant
  • Diabetes
  • Endothelial progenitor cell
  • Foot ulcers
  • Stromal derived factor-1
  • Thermoresponsive polymer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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