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Soojeong Choi, Jihoon Jeon, Yunsu Bae, Yongsoon Hwang, and Seung-Woo Cho*
Mucoadhesive Phenolic Pectin Hydrogels for Saliva Substitute and Oral Patch
Adv. Funct. Mater., 33 (44), 2303043
Date: Jun 21, 2023

Oral disease is one of the most common conditions worldwide, negatively affecting general health, reducing the quality of life, and often developing into systemic illness. However, the design of therapeutic agents for oral diseases is challenging due to various unique features of the oral cavity, including its wet and dynamic environment and curved shape. Herein, the development of highly biocompatible mucoadhesive functional hydrogels for oral applications is reported, generated by introducing bio-inspired phenolic moieties into a pectin polymer. Pyrogallol-functionalized pectin (Pec-PG) can be crosslinked in situ via autoxidation without chemical agents and readily fabricated as various formulations. Sprayable Pec-PG hydrogel exhibits strong mucoadhesion and outstanding hydration ability ex vivo and in vivo, thus displaying significant potential as a novel saliva substitute for dry mouth. The authors further show that topical application of mucoadhesive Pec-PG patches pre-loaded with corticosteroid significantly promotes the repair of diabetic oral ulcer tissue via prolonged drug release, free radical scavenging, and physical barrier effects. Moreover, similar applications for oral ulcer treatment using a pectin hydrogel modified with catechol (Pec-CA), another phenolic moiety are demonstrated. Together, these findings suggest that mucoadhesive phenolic pectin derivatives can provide highly biocompatible, convenient, and effective hydrogel platforms for treating oral diseases.

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