04.01.21Nature Materials Activating an adaptive immune response from a hydrogel scaffold imparts regenerative wound healing
Microporous annealed particle (MAP) scaffolds are flowable, in situ crosslinked, microporous scaffolds composed of microgel building blocks and were previously shown to accelerate wound healing. To promote more extensive tissue ingrowth before scaffold degradation, we aimed to slow MAP degradation by switching the chirality of the crosslinking peptides from L- to D-amino acids. Unexpectedly, despite showing the predicted slower enzymatic degradation in vitro, D-peptide crosslinked MAP hydrogel (D-MAP) hastened material degradation in vivo and imparted significant tissue regeneration to healed cutaneous wounds, including increased tensile strength and hair neogenesis. MAP scaffolds recruit IL-33 type 2 myeloid cells, which is amplified in the presence of D-peptides. Remarkably, D-MAP elicited significant antigen-specific immunity against the D-chiral peptides, and an intact adaptive immune system was required for the hydrogel-induced skin regeneration. These findings demonstrate that the generation of an adaptive immune response from a biomaterial is sufficient to induce cutaneous regenerative healing despite faster scaffold degradation.