Theranostics 2020; 10(11):4929-4943. doi:10.7150/thno.41839 This issue

Research Paper

Bioactive antibacterial silica-based nanocomposites hydrogel scaffolds with high angiogenesis for promoting diabetic wound healing and skin repair

Yannan Li1,3*, Tianzhen Xu2,5*, Zhuolong Tu1, Wentong Dai1, Yumeng Xue4, Chengxuan Tang2, Weiyang Gao2, Cong Mao2✉, Bo Lei4✉, Cai Lin1✉

1. Department of Burn, the First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325000, China
2. Key Laboratory of Orthopedics of Zhejiang Province, the Second Affiliated Hospital and Yuying Children Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325027, China
3. School of Physical Science and Technology, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010021,China
4. Frontier Institute of Science and Technology, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710054, China
5. Department of Orthopedics, Zhuji People's Hospital of Zhejiang Province, Shaoxing 312000, China
*These authors contributed equally to this work.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Li Y, Xu T, Tu Z, Dai W, Xue Y, Tang C, Gao W, Mao C, Lei B, Lin C. Bioactive antibacterial silica-based nanocomposites hydrogel scaffolds with high angiogenesis for promoting diabetic wound healing and skin repair. Theranostics 2020; 10(11):4929-4943. doi:10.7150/thno.41839. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Diabetic wound repair and skin regeneration remains a worldwide challenge due to the impaired functionality of re-vascularization.

Methods: This study reports a bioactive self-healing antibacterial injectable dual-network silica-based nanocomposite hydrogel scaffolds that can significantly enhance the diabetic wound healing/skin tissue formation through promoting early angiogenesis without adding any bioactive factors. The nanocomposite scaffold comprises a main network of polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA) forming scaffolds, with an auxiliary dynamic network formed between bioactive glass nanoparticles containing copper (BGNC) and sodium alginate (ALG) (PABC scaffolds).

Results: PABC scaffolds exhibit the biomimetic elastomeric mechanical properties, excellent injectabilities, self-healing behavior, as well as the robust broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. Importantly, PABC hydrogel significantly promoted the viability, proliferation and angiogenic ability of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in vitro. In vivo, PABC hydrogel could efficiently restore blood vessels networks through enhancing HIF-1α/VEGF expression and collagen matrix deposition in the full-thickness diabetic wound, and significantly accelerate wound healing and skin tissue regeneration.

Conclusion: The prominent multifunctional properties and angiogenic capacity of PABC hydrogel scaffolds enable their promising applications in angiogenesis-related regenerative medicine.

Keywords: silica-based biomaterials, bioactive scaffolds, multifunctional properties, diabetic wound healing, tissue engineering