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This article is the author's final published version in Gels, Volume 9, Issue 12, December 2023, Article number 971.

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Excessive posttraumatic scarring in orthopedic tissues, such as joint capsules, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and peripheral nerves, presents a significant medical problem, resulting in pain, restricted joint mobility, and impaired musculoskeletal function. Current treatments for excessive scarring are often ineffective and require the surgical removal of fibrotic tissue, which can aggravate the problem. The primary component of orthopedic scars is collagen I-rich fibrils. Our research team has developed a monoclonal anti-collagen antibody (ACA) that alleviates posttraumatic scarring by inhibiting collagen fibril formation. We previously established the safety and efficacy of ACA in a rabbit-based arthrofibrosis model. In this study, we evaluate the utility of a well-characterized thermoresponsive hydrogel (THG) as a delivery vehicle for ACA to injury sites. Crucial components of the hydrogel included N-isopropylacrylamide, poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate, and hyaluronic acid. Our investigation focused on in vitro ACA release kinetics, stability, and activity. Additionally, we examined the antigen-binding characteristics of ACA post-release from the THG in an in vivo context. Our preliminary findings suggest that the THG construct exhibits promise as a delivery platform for antibody-based therapeutics to reduce excessive scarring in orthopedic tissues.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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