Hydrogels for biomedical applications such as controlled drug release are usually synthesized with the chemical or physical crosslinking of monomers or macromers. In this work, we used gelatin to prepare hydrogel nanoparticles and studied whether gelatin nanoparticles (GNPs) could assemble to form a solid biomaterial and whether this solid biomaterial was capable of transforming into a hydrogel upon introduction to a hydrated environment. The data show that GNPs with or without aptamer functionalization could form a nanoparticle-assembled porous solid biomaterial after freezing and lyophilization treatment. This formation did not need any additional crosslinking reactions. More importantly, this solid biomaterial could undergo solid-to-hydrogel transition after contacting a solution and this transformation was tunable to match different shapes and geometries of defined molds. The formed hydrogel could also sequester and release growth factors for the promotion of skin wound healing. Thus, GNP-assembled solid biomaterials hold great potential as an off-the-shelf therapy for biomedical application such as drug delivery and regenerative medicine.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science