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Nanostructure formation and cell spheroid morphogenesis of a peptide supramolecular hydrogel

de Mello, L. R., Carrascosa, V., Rebelato, E., Juliano, M. A., Hamley, I. W. ORCID:, Castelletto, V. ORCID:, Vassiliades, S. V. ORCID:, Alves, W. A. ORCID:, Nakaie, C. R. and da Silva, E. R. ORCID: (2022) Nanostructure formation and cell spheroid morphogenesis of a peptide supramolecular hydrogel. Langmuir, 38 (11). pp. 3434-3445. ISSN 0743-7463

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.1c03215


Peptide-based hydrogels have attracted much attention due to their extraordinary applications in biomedicine and offer an excellent mimic for the 3D microenvironment of the extracellular matrix. These hydrated matrices comprise fibrous networks held together by a delicate balance of intermolecular forces. Here, we investigate the hydrogelation behavior of a designed decapeptide containing a tetraleucine self-assembling backbone and fibronectin-related tripeptides near both ends of the strand. We have observed that this synthetic peptide can produce hydrogel matrices entrapping >99% wt/vol % water. Ultrastructural analyses combining atomic force microscopy, small-angle neutron scattering, and X-ray diffraction revealed that amyloid-like fibrils form cross-linked networks endowed with remarkable thermal stability, the structure of which is not disrupted up to temperatures >80 °C. We also examined the interaction of peptide hydrogels with either NIH3T3 mouse fibroblasts or HeLa cells and discovered that the matrices sustain cell viability and induce morphogenesis into grape-like cell spheroids. The results presented here show that this decapeptide is a remarkable building block to prepare highly stable scaffolds simultaneously endowed with high water retention capacity and the ability to instruct cell growth into tumor-like spheroids even in noncarcinoma lineages.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:104209


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