Chronic skin wounds are the leading cause of nontraumatic foot amputations
worldwide and present a significant risk of morbidity and mortality due to
the lack of efficient therapies.The intrinsic characteristics of hydrogels allow
them to benefit cutaneous healing essentially by supporting a moist environment.
This property has long been explored in wound management to aid in
autolytic debridement. However, chronic wounds require additional therapeutic
features that can be provided by a combination of hydrogels with biochemical
mediators or cells, promoting faster and better healing.We survey
hydrogel-based approaches with potential to improve the healing of chronic
wounds by reviewing their effects as observed in preclinical models. Topics
covered include strategies to ablate infection and resolve inflammation,
the delivery of bioactive agents to accelerate healing, and tissue engineering
approaches for skin regeneration. The article concludes by considering the
relevance of treating chronic skin wounds using hydrogel-based strategies.