A silane-modified hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogel was prepared using a facile one-pot method with 3-glycidyloxypropyl-trimethoxysilane (GPTMS). The sol-gel route, specifically the self-condensation of the silane, was combined with the HA hydrogel system to modify its network structure. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) confirmed the chemical functionalization of GPTMS. The morphological, rheological properties, and enzymatic degradation of the hydrogels were also evaluated. The sol-gel-stabilized HA hydrogel exhibited superior mechanical properties and biochemical stability as well as excellent biocompatibility without triggering any negative biological effects. Furthermore, an efficient drug-loading strategy is suggested that uses sol-gel encapsulation without the need for any chemical reagents, resulting in sustained release characteristics. Vancomycin was used as a model drug, and enhanced efficacy was demonstrated in antibacterial tests. The proposed approach is expected to have great potential for biomedical applications, and our findings will provide insight into the structure-property relationship of hydrogels.
Keywords: Controlled release; Drug delivery; Hyaluronic acid; Hydrogels; Sol–gel.
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