Peptide-based hydrogels (PHGs) are biocompatible materials suitable for biological, biomedical, and biotechnological applications, such as drug delivery and diagnostic tools for imaging. Recently, a novel class of synthetic hydrogel-forming amphiphilic cationic peptides (referred to as series K), containing an aliphatic region and a Lys residue, was proposed as a scaffold for bioprinting applications. Here, we report the synthesis of six analogues of the series K, in which the acetyl group at the N-terminus is replaced by aromatic portions, such as the Fmoc protecting group or the Fmoc-FF hydrogelator. The tendency of all peptides to self-assemble and to gel in aqueous solution was investigated using a set of biophysical techniques. The structural characterization pointed out that only the Fmoc-derivatives of series K keep their capability to gel. Among them, Fmoc-K3 hydrogel, which is the more rigid one (G’ = 2526 Pa), acts as potential material for tissue engineering, fully supporting cell adhesion, survival, and duplication. These results describe a gelification process, allowed only by the correct balancing among aggregation forces within the peptide sequences (e.g., van der Waals, hydrogen bonding, and π–π stacking).

Self-supporting hydrogels based on fmoc-derivatized cationic hexapeptides for potential biomedical applications

Diaferia C.;Rosa E.;Stornaiuolo M.;Morelli G.;Accardo A.
2021

Abstract

Peptide-based hydrogels (PHGs) are biocompatible materials suitable for biological, biomedical, and biotechnological applications, such as drug delivery and diagnostic tools for imaging. Recently, a novel class of synthetic hydrogel-forming amphiphilic cationic peptides (referred to as series K), containing an aliphatic region and a Lys residue, was proposed as a scaffold for bioprinting applications. Here, we report the synthesis of six analogues of the series K, in which the acetyl group at the N-terminus is replaced by aromatic portions, such as the Fmoc protecting group or the Fmoc-FF hydrogelator. The tendency of all peptides to self-assemble and to gel in aqueous solution was investigated using a set of biophysical techniques. The structural characterization pointed out that only the Fmoc-derivatives of series K keep their capability to gel. Among them, Fmoc-K3 hydrogel, which is the more rigid one (G’ = 2526 Pa), acts as potential material for tissue engineering, fully supporting cell adhesion, survival, and duplication. These results describe a gelification process, allowed only by the correct balancing among aggregation forces within the peptide sequences (e.g., van der Waals, hydrogen bonding, and π–π stacking).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/858725
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