Background: Composed in a large extent of water and due to their nonadhesiveness,
hydrogels found their way to the wound dressing market as materials that
provide a moisture environment for healing while being comfortable to the patient. Hydrogels’
exploitation is constantly increasing after evidences of their even broader therapeutic
potential due to resemblance to dermal tissue and ability to induce partial skin regeneration.
The innovation in advanced wound care is further directed to the development of so-called
active dressings, where hydrogels are combined with components that enhance the primary
purpose of providing a beneficial environment for wound healing.
Objective: The objective of this review is to concisely describe the relevance of hydrogel
dressings as platforms for delivery of active molecules for improved management of difficult-
to-treat wounds. The emphasis is on the most recent advances in development of stimuli-
responsive hydrogels, which allow for control over wound healing efficiency in response
to different external modalities. Novel strategies for monitoring of the wound status
and healing progress based on incorporation of sensor molecules into the hydrogel platforms
are also discussed.
Keywords: Hydrogels, stimuli-responsiveness, sensor molecules, smart polymers, wound healing, wound monitoring.
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