Hydrogels have been applied to improve stem cell therapy and drug delivery, but current hydrogel-based delivery methods are inefficient in clinical settings due to difficulty in handling and treatment processes, and low off-the-shelf availability. To overcome these limitations, an adhesive hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogel patch is developed that acts as a ready-to-use tissue tape for therapeutic application. The HA hydrogel patches functionalized with phenolic moieties (e.g., catechol, pyrogallol) exhibit stronger tissue adhesiveness, greater elastic modulus, and increased off-the-shelf availability, compared with their bulk solution gel form. With this strategy, stem cells are efficiently engrafted onto beating ischemic hearts without injection, resulting in enhanced angiogenesis in ischemic regions and improving cardiac functions. HA hydrogel patches facilitate the in vivo engraftment of stem cell–derived organoids. The off-the-shelf availability of the hydrogel patch is also demonstrated as a drug-loaded ready-made tissue tape for topical drug delivery to promote wound healing. Importantly, the applicability of the cross-linker-free HA patch is validated for therapeutic cell and drug delivery. The study suggests that bioinspired phenolic adhesive hydrogel patches can provide an innovative method for simple but highly effective cell and drug delivery, increasing the off-the-shelf availability—a critically important component for translation to clinical settings.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics