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Magnetic field-induced alignment of nanofibrous supramolecular membranes: a molecular design approach to create tissue-like biomaterials

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.0c05191 DOI Help

Authors: Elham Radvar (Queen Mary University of London) , Yejiao Shi (Queen Mary University of London) , Salvatore Grasso (University of Reading) , Charlotte J. C. Edwards-gayle (University of Reading) , Xitong Liu (The George Washington University) , Meagan S. Mauter (Stanford University) , Valeria Castelletto (University of Reading) , Ian W. Hamley (University of Reading) , Michael J. Reece (Queen Mary University of London) , Helena S. Azevedo (Queen Mary University of London)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Acs Applied Materials & Interfaces

State: Published (Approved)
Published: April 2020
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 18523

Abstract: A molecular design approach to fabricate nanofibrous membranes by self-assembly of aromatic cationic peptides with hyaluronic acid (HA) and nanofiber alignment under a magnetic field is reported. Peptides are designed to contain a block composed of four phenylalanine residues at the C-terminus, to drive their self-assembly by hydrophobic association and aromatic stacking, and a positively charged domain of lysine residues for electrostatic interaction with HA. These two blocks are connected by a linker with a variable number of amino acids and ability to adopt distinct conformations. Zeta potential measurements and circular dichroism confirm their positive charge and variable conformation (random coil, beta-sheet or alpha-helix), which depend on the pH and sequence. Their self-assembly, examined by fluorescence spectroscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy, show the formation of fiber-like nanostructures in the micromolar range. When the peptides are combined with HA, hydrogels or flat membranes are formed. The molecular structure tunes the mechanical behavior of the membranes and the nanofibers align in the direction of magnetic field due to the high diamagnetic anisotropy of phenylalanine residues. Mesenchymal stem cells cultured on magnetically-aligned membranes elongate in direction of the nanofibers supporting their application for soft tissue engineering.

Journal Keywords: aromatic cationic peptides; self-assembly; nanofibers; magnetic field; alignment

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Biology and Bio-materials

Instruments: B21-High Throughput SAXS