The Potential of Rg3-Loaded Hydrogel Scaffolds in Inhibiting Scar Formation

The Potential of Rg3-Loaded Hydrogel Scaffolds in Inhibiting Scar Formation Introduction


Ginsenoside Rg3 (Rg3) holds great promise as a potential drug for preventing scar formation, but it is often difficult for it to work alone due to its poor water solubility and low bioavailability. Herein, a novel Rg3-loaded dermal extracellular matrix (DECM) hydrogel scaffolds are prepared via 3D printing and nanoloading technologies, which improves the biosafety profile of Rg3 to a large extent, maintains a consistent local drug concentration for an extended duration and prolongs therapeutic effects, realizing the final goal of scar-free healing.

The merits of 3D-printed DECM hydrogel scaffolds loaded with Rg3

3D-printed DECM hydrogel scaffolds have good supportability and stability. They could be folded into different shapes without obvious deformation or breakage, closely resembling the properties of natural skin. The continuous porous structure of DECM-2MSN scaffolds enables the faster transport of nutrients, oxygen, water, and metabolic wastes within the platform, which facilitates the wound healing.


The uniqueness of 3D-printed DECM hydrogel scaffolds loaded with Rg3

Through decellularization, about 98.57% of dsDNA is removed from DECM, leaving few cellular remnants while preserving collagen in DECM, which simulates the natural extracellular matrix microenvironment for skin defect healing to the greatest extent, reducing the risk of immune rejection. Hydrogel exhibits excellent biocompatibility and solid-like rheological properties. Furthermore, mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) are introduced into the system to encase the Rg3 to control its release rate and enhance its bioavailability.


The role of Rg3-loaded hydrogel scaffolds in wound healing

The wound in DECM-2MSNs/Rg3 group has completely healed, exhibiting smooth and uniform regenerated epithelium with clear boundaries between the epidermis and dermis. During the wound healing process, Rg3 can suppress the excessive inflammation, hinder the formation of blood vessels, and prevent excessive and disordered proliferation of granulation tissue at the wound site, as manifested by the low expression of CD31, VEGF and TGF-β levels in DECM-2MSNs/Rg3 group. In the later stages of wound healing, Rg3 could repress collagen accumulation, thereby impeding scarring, without affecting the normal healing of the wound.


Rg3-loaded hydrogel scaffold can inhibit wound inflammation and collagen accumulation to repress scar formation. By integrating 3D bioprinting and nanoloading technologies to prepare this innovative wound dressing, the efficacy of Rg3 has been greatly improved, providing a novel therapeutic approach for scar-free wound healing.


Wang X, Wei P, Hu C, Zeng H, Fan Z. 3D printing of Rg3-loaded hydrogel scaffolds: anti-inflammatory and scar-formation related collagen inhibitory effects for scar-free wound healing. J Mater Chem B. Published online April 22, 2024. doi:10.1039/d3tb02941g

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