The introduction and designing of functional thermoresponsive hydrogels have been recommended as recent potential therapeutic approaches for biomedical applications. The development of bioactive materials such as thermosensitive gelatin-incorporated nano-organic materials with a porous structure and photothermally triggerable and cell adhesion properties may potentially achieve this goal. This novel class of photothermal hydrogels can provide an advantage of hyperthermia together with a reversibly transformable hydrogel for tissue engineering. Polypyrrole (Ppy) is a bioorganic conducting polymeric substance and has long been used in biomedical applications owing to its brilliant stability, electrically conductive features, and excellent absorbance around the near-infrared (NIR) region. In this study, a cationic photothermal triggerable/guidable gelatin hydrogel containing a polyethylenimine (PEI)–Ppy nanocomplex with a porous microstructure was established, and its physicochemical characteristics were studied through dynamic light scattering, scanning electronic microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, an FTIR; and cellular interaction behaviors towards fibroblasts incubated with a test sample were examined via MTT assay and fluorescence microscopy. Photothermal performance was evaluated. Furthermore, the in vivo study was performed on male Wistar rat full thickness excisions model for checking the safety and efficacy of the designed gelatin–PEI–Ppy nanohydrogel system in wound healing and for other biomedical uses in future. This photothermally sensitive hydrogel system has an NIR-triggerable property that provides local hyperthermic temperature by PEI–Ppy nanoparticles for tissue engineering applications. Features of the designed hydrogel may fill other niches, such as being an antibacterial agent, generation of free radicals to further improve wound healing, and remodeling of the promising photothermal therapy for future tissue engineering applications.
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