Anti-oxidant anti-inflammatory and antibacterial tannin-crosslinked citrate-based mussel-inspired bioadhesives facilitate scarless wound healing

Keke Wu, Meimei Fu, Yitao Zhao, Ethan Gerhard, Yue Li, Jian Yang, Jinshan Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The revolutionary role of tissue adhesives in wound closure, tissue sealing, and bleeding control necessitates the development of multifunctional materials capable of effective and scarless healing. In contrast to the use of traditionally utilized toxic oxidative crosslinking initiators (exemplified by sodium periodate and silver nitrate), herein, the natural polyphenolic compound tannic acid (TA) was used to achieve near instantaneous (<25s), hydrogen bond mediated gelation of citrate-based mussel-inspired bioadhesives combining anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial activities (3A-TCMBAs). The resulting materials were self-healing and possessed low swelling ratios (<60%) as well as considerable mechanical strength (up to ∼1.0 MPa), elasticity (elongation ∼2700%), and adhesion (up to 40 kPa). The 3A-TCMBAs showed strong in vitro and in vivo anti-oxidant ability, favorable cytocompatibility and cell migration, as well as photothermal antimicrobial activity against both Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli (>90% bacterial death upon near-infrared (NIR) irradiation). In vivo evaluation in both an infected full-thickness skin wound model and a rat skin incision model demonstrated that 3A-TCMBAs + NIR treatment could promote wound closure and collagen deposition and improve the collagen I/III ratio on wound sites while simultaneously inhibiting the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Further, phased angiogenesis was observed via promotion in the early wound closure phases followed by inhibition and triggering of degradation & remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in the late stage (supported by phased CD31 (platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1) PDGF (platelet-derived growth factor) and VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) expression as well as elevated matrix metalloprotein-9 (MMP-9) expression on day 21), resulting in scarless wound healing. The significant convergence of material and bioactive properties elucidated above warrant further exploration of 3A-TCMBAs as a significant, new class of bioadhesive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-110
Number of pages18
JournalBioactive Materials
StatePublished - Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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