Hydrogel formation via block copolypeptide self-assembly
Amphiphilic block copolypeptides are designed with desired charge character and secondary structure in order to self-assemble in aqueous solution. The final material formed is a dilute but rigid hydrogel (rigid gels are formed down to ~0.5 wt% polypeptide) with several important innate properties such as both nanoscale and microscale porosity (important for potential tissue engineering applications), shear thinning rheological behavior (easily processed into a desired geometry) with a quickly recovering modulus on cessation of shear, and mechanical properties (shear moduli) that are dependent on molecular secondary structure. New designs take advantage of the peptidic chemistry of the assemblers to build in specific biofunctionality (cell binding sites, growth factors) in the hydrogels.
Pakstis, L.; Nowak, A.P.; Deming, T.J.; Pochan, D.J.* "The Effect of Chemistry and Morphology on the Biofunctionality of Self-Assembling Diblock Copolypeptide Hydrogels" Biomacromolecules, 2004, 5, 312-318.
Nowak, A.P.; Breedveld, V.; Pakstis, L.; Pine, D.J.; Pochan, D.J.; Deming, T.J. "Rapid Recovering Hydrogel Scaffolds From Self-Assembling Diblock Copolypeptide Amphiphiles" Nature, 2002, 417, 424 - 428
Pochan, D.J.; Pakstis, L.; Ozbas, B.; Nowak, A.K.; Deming, T.J. "SANS and cryoTEM Study of Self-Assembled Diblock Copolypeptide Hydrogels with Rich Nano- Through Microscale Morphology." Macromolecules, 2002, 35, 5358-5360.