Novel Diabetic Foot Wound Dressing Based on Multifunctional Hydrogels with Extensive Temperature-Tolerant, Durable, Adhesive, and Intrinsic Antibacterial Properties

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2021 Jun 16;13(23):26770-26781. doi: 10.1021/acsami.1c05514. Epub 2021 Jun 7.


Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are hard-healing chronic wounds and susceptible to bacterial infection. Conventional hydrogel dressings easily lose water at high temperature or freeze at low temperature, making them unsuitable for long-term use or in extreme environments. Herein, a temperature-tolerant (-20 to 60 °C) antibacterial hydrogel dressing is fabricated by the assembly of polyacrylamide, gelatin, and ε-polylysine. Owing to the water/glycerin (Gly) binary solvent system, the resultant hydrogel (G-PAGL) displayed good heat resistance and antifreezing properties. Within the wide temperature range (-20 to 60 °C), all the desirable features of the hydrogel, including superstretchability (>1400%), enduring water retention, adhesiveness, and persistent antibacterial property, are quite stable. Remarkably, the hydrogel wound dressing displayed lasting and broad antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Satisfactorily, the double-network (DN) G-PAGL hydrogel dressing could effectively promote the healing of DFUs by accelerating collagen deposition, promoting angiogenesis, and inhibiting bacterial breed. As far as we know, this is the first time that the extensive temperature-tolerant DN hydrogel with antibacterial ability is developed to use as DFU wound dressing. The G-PAGL hydrogel provides more choices for DFU wound dressings that could be used in extreme environments.

Keywords: diabetic foot ulcers; extensive temperature tolerance; hydrogel; tissue adhesive; wound dressing; ε-polylysine.

MeSH terms

  • Adhesives
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Bandages
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / complications*
  • Diabetic Foot / drug therapy*
  • Diabetic Foot / etiology
  • Diabetic Foot / pathology
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Hydrogels / administration & dosage*
  • Hydrogels / chemistry
  • Rats
  • Temperature
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Adhesives
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Hydrogels