Uncharged Helical Modular Polypeptide Hydrogels for Cellular Scaffolds
Author(s)Ahrens, Caroline C.; Welch, M. Elizabeth; Griffith, Linda G; Hammond, Paula T
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Grafted synthetic polypeptides hold appeal for extending the range of biophysical properties achievable in synthetic extracellular matrix (ECM) hydrogels. Here, N-carboxyanhydride polypeptide, poly(γ-propargyl-l-glutamate) (PPLG) macromers were generated by fully grafting the “clickable” side chains with mixtures of short polyethylene glycol (PEG) chains terminated with inert (−OH) or reactive (maleimide and/or norbornene) groups, then reacting a fraction of these groups with an RGD cell attachment motif. A panel of synthetic hydrogels was then created by cross-linking the PPLG macromers with a 4-arm PEG star molecule. Compared to well-established PEG-only hydrogels, gels containing PPLG exhibited dramatically less dependence on swelling as a function of cross-link density. Further, PPLG-containing gels, which retain an α-helical chain conformation, were more effective than standard PEG gels in fostering attachment of a human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) line for a given concentration of RGD in the gel. These favorable properties of PPLG-containing PEG hydrogels suggest they may find broad use in synthetic ECM.
DepartmentDavid H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Center for Gynepathology Research; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Biological Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Chemical Engineering
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Ahrens, Caroline C. et al. “Uncharged Helical Modular Polypeptide Hydrogels for Cellular Scaffolds.” Biomacromolecules 16.12 (2015): 3774–3783.
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