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Reactive oxygen species (ROS): utilizing injectable antioxidative hydrogels and ROS-producing therapies to manage the double-edged sword

He, Zhonglei, Xu, Qian, Newland, Ben ORCID:, Foley, Ruth, Lara-Sáez, Irene, Curtin, James F. and Wang, Wenxin 2021. Reactive oxygen species (ROS): utilizing injectable antioxidative hydrogels and ROS-producing therapies to manage the double-edged sword. Journal of Materials Chemistry B: Materials for biology and medicine 9 (32) , pp. 6326-6346. 10.1039/D1TB00728A

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Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated in cellular metabolism and are essential for cellular signalling networks and physiological functions. However, the functions of ROS are ‘double-edged swords’ to living systems that have a fragile redox balance between ROS generation and elimination. A modest increase of ROS leads to enhanced cell proliferation, survival and benign immune responses, whereas ROS stress that overwhelms the cellular antioxidant capacity can damage nucleic acids, proteins and lipids, resulting in oncogenic mutations and cell death. ROS are therefore involved in many pathological conditions. On the other hand, ROS present selective toxicity and have been utilised against cancer and pathogens, thus also acting as a double-edged sword in the healthcare field. Injectable antioxidative hydrogels are gel precursors that form hydrogel constructs in situ upon delivery in vivo to maintain an antioxidative capacity. These hydrogels have been developed to counter ROS-induced pathological conditions, with significant advantages of biocompatibility, excellent moldability, and minimally invasive delivery. The intrinsic, readily controllable ROS-scavenging ability of the functionalised hydrogels overcomes many drawbacks of small molecule antioxidants. This review summarises the roles of ROS under pathological conditions and describes the state-of-the-art of injectable antioxidative hydrogels. A particular emphasis is also given to current ROS-producing therapeutic interventions, enabling potential application of injectable antioxidant hydrogels to prevent the adverse effects of many cancer and infection treatments.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Pharmacy
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
ISSN: 2050-750X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 September 2021
Date of Acceptance: 1 July 2021
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 05:32

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