Diabetic foot ulcers (DFU), one of the most serious complications of diabetes, are essentially chronic, nonhealing wounds caused by diabetic neuropathy, vascular disease, and bacterial infection. Given its pathogenesis, the DFU microenvironment is rather complicated and characterized by hyperglycemia, ischemia, hypoxia, hyperinflammation, and persistent infection. However, the current clinical therapies for DFU are dissatisfactory, which drives researchers to turn attention to advanced nanotechnology to address DFU therapeutic bottlenecks. In the last decade, a large number of multifunctional nanosystems based on the microenvironment of DFU have been developed with positive effects in DFU therapy, forming a novel concept of “DFU nanomedicine”. However, a systematic overview of DFU nanomedicine is still unavailable in the literature. This review summarizes the microenvironmental characteristics of DFU, presents the main progress of wound healing, and summaries the state-of-the-art therapeutic strategies for DFU. Furthermore, the main challenges and future perspectives in this field are discussed and prospected, aiming to fuel and foster the development of DFU nanomedicines successfully.
Keywords: diabetic foot ulcers; microenvironment; nanomedicine; therapeutic strategy; wound healing.