Research Stories

Antioxidant Hydrogel Patches for Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis

- Biocompatible hydrogels embedded with reactive oxygen species (ROS)-scavenging nanoparticles
- Reduction of ROS and inflammatory immune responses in atopic dermatitis animal model
- Expectation to be applied to diverse skin inflammation-related disease and skin care

Chemical Engineering
Ye Eun Kim , Dr. Seung Woo Choi

  • Antioxidant Hydrogel Patches for Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis
  • Antioxidant Hydrogel Patches for Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis
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Professor Jaeyun Kim research team in the School of Chemical Engineering (The 1st coauthors: Ye Eun Kim, a graduate student, Dr. Seung Woo Choi, a postdoc) developed the antioxidant hydrogels via scavenging ROS from the inflamed skin for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD) without using steroid drugs. The team has previously suggested a therapeutic antioxidant contact lens for the treatment of dry eye disease.

Although topical steroid drugs have been generally used for the treatment of AD, the continuous administration can cause severe side effects such as hypogenesis of children or Cushing syndrome. As AD can easily develop into chronic disease, a new treatment with high safety is highly demanded.

The Therapeutic antioxidant hydrogel patches were synthesized by embedding ROS-scavenging ceria nanoparticles into biocompatible alginate hydrogels. As the increased level of ROS in AD lesions aggravates the symptoms of AD, an efficient ROS scavenging into benign water and oxygen by the antioxidant hydrogels could efficiently diminish the oxidative stress and inflammatory immune responses in AD.

When the antioxidant hydrogel patches were applied onto AD induced skin of the mouse model, the level of ROS of tissue was significantly reduced. Furthermore, the epidermal thickness, the number of infiltrated inflammatory cells, and the level of inflammatory cytokines were decreased, indicating the symptoms of AD were alleviated.

As hydrogel patches are soft materials, it is easily applicable to the skin. In addition, high water contents of the hydrogel are beneficial to moisturize the dried AD skin. Lastly, the embedded ceria nanoparticles were not released from hydrogels to the skin, indicating that negligible nanotoxicity in the skin would be expected.

Professor Kim described that “The application of this antioxidant hydrogel patch could be expanded to diverse skin inflammatory disease and skincare which are related with a high level of ROS.”

Study for therapeutic hydrogel patches for atopic dermatitis: “Therapeutic Hydrogel Patch to Treat Atopic Dermatitis by Regulating Oxidative Stress”, Nano Letters, published online (2022)

Study for therapeutic contact lenses for dry eye disease: “Therapeutic Contact Lens for Scavenging Excessive Reactive Oxygen Species on Ocular Surface, ACS Nano, 14, 2483-2496 (2020)

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