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Soohwan An, Eun Je Jeon, Seung Yeop Han, Jihoon Jeon, Mi Jeong Lee, Sooyeon Kim, Mikyung Shin, and Seung-Woo Cho*
pH-Universal Catechol-Amine Chemistry for Versatile Hyaluronic Acid Bioadhesives
Small, 18 (41), 2202729
Date: Aug 21, 2022

Catechol, a major mussel-inspired underwater adhesive moiety, has been used to develop functional adhesive hydrogels for biomedical applications. However, oxidative catechol chemistry for interpolymer crosslinking and adhesion is exclusively effective under alkaline conditions, with limited applications in non-alkaline conditions. To overcome this limitation, pH-universal catechol–amine chemistry to recapitulate naturally occurring biochemical events induced by pH variation in the mussel foot is suggested. Aldehyde moieties are introduced to hyaluronic acid (HA) by partial oxidation, which enables dual-mode catechol tethering to the HA via both stable amide and reactive secondary amine bonds. Because of the presence of additional reactive amine groups, the resultant aldehyde-modified HA conjugated with catechol (AH-CA) is effectively crosslinked in acidic and neutral pH conditions. The AH-CA hydrogel exhibits not only fast gelation via active crosslinking regardless of pH conditions, but also strong adhesion and excellent biocompatibility. The hydrogel enables rapid and robust wound sealing and hemostasis in neutral and alkaline conditions. The hydrogel also mediates effective therapeutic stem cell and drug delivery even in dynamic and harsh environments, such as a motile heart and acidic stomach. Therefore, the AH-CA hydrogel can serve as a versatile biomaterial in a wide range of pH conditions in vivo.

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