Self-healing self-assembled B-sheet peptide poly(G-glutamic acid) hybrid hydrogels

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Title: Self-healing self-assembled B-sheet peptide poly(G-glutamic acid) hybrid hydrogels
Authors: Clarke, D
Pashuck, ET
Bertazzo, S
Weaver, JVM
Stevens, MM
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Self-assembled biomaterials are an important class of materials that can be injected and formed in situ. However, they often are not able to meet the mechanical properties necessary for many biological applications, losing mechanical properties at low strains. We synthesized hybrid hydrogels consisting of a poly(γ-glutamic acid) polymer network physically cross-linked via grafted self-assembling β-sheet peptides to provide non-covalent cross-linking through β-sheet assembly, reinforced with a polymer backbone to improve strain stability. By altering the β-sheet peptide graft density and concentration, we can tailor the mechanical properties of the hydrogels over an order of magnitude range of 10–200 kPa, which is in the region of many soft tissues. Also, due to the ability of the non-covalent β-sheet cross-links to reassemble, the hydrogels can self-heal after being strained to failure, in most cases recovering all of their original storage moduli. Using a combination of spectroscopic techniques, we were able to probe the secondary structure of the materials and verify the presence of β-sheets within the hybrid hydrogels. Since the polymer backbone requires less than a 15% functionalization of its repeating units with β-sheet peptides to form a hydrogel, it can easily be modified further to incorporate specific biological epitopes. This self-healing polymer−β-sheet peptide hybrid hydrogel with tailorable mechanical properties is a promising platform for future tissue-engineering scaffolds and biomedical applications.
Issue Date: 19-May-2017
Date of Acceptance: 11-May-2017
ISSN: 1520-5126
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Start Page: 7250
End Page: 7255
Journal / Book Title: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Volume: 139
Issue: 21
Copyright Statement: © 2017 American Chemical Society. This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the author and source are cited. (
Sponsor/Funder: Commission of the European Communities
Commission of the European Communities
Funder's Grant Number: ERC-2007-StG-206807
Keywords: Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Chemistry, Multidisciplinary
General Chemistry
03 Chemical Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location:
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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