• Wound healing;
  • self-assembled materials;
  • nanotechnology;
  • keratinocytes;
  • fibroblasts;
  • and regenerative medicine.


The next generation skin of wound healing materials should stimulate skin regeneration by actively promoting appropriate cellular adhesion and proliferation. As materials with novel self-assembling and solidification properties when transitioning from room to body temperatures, rosette nanotubes (RNTs) may be such a proactive material. RNTs resemble naturally-occurring nanostructures in the skin (such as collagen and keratin) assembling with non-covalent forces in physiological environments. Presenting desirable bioactive properties, RNTs have been used for various tissue engineering applications including increasing in vivo bone and cartilage regeneration. The objective of the current in vitro study was, for the first time, to improve properties of a commonly used hydrogel (poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) or pHEMA) for skin regeneration by incorporating one type of novel self-assembled RNTs, called twin base linkers (or TBLs). Results showed for the first time increased keratinocyte and fibroblast proliferation on hydrogels coated with TBLs compared to those not coated with TBLs. In this manner, this study provides the first evidence that TBLs are promising for wound healing applications due to their optimal cytocompatibility, solidification, and mechanical properties and, thus, should be further studied for such applications.