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Issue 8, 2009
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Branched peptide actuators for enzyme responsive hydrogel particles

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Abstract

We demonstrate the preparation of enzyme responsive poly(ethylene glycol) acrylamide hydrogel microparticles (µPEGA) functionalised by solid phase synthesis with new branched peptide actuators. Branched peptide actuators provide enhanced charge density and overcome electrostatic screening at physiological ionic strength when compared to linear ones which do not show triggered swelling under these conditions. Particle swelling was induced by enzymatic hydrolysis which caused a change in the charge balance of the branched peptide actuators from zwitterionic (neutral) to cationic. Analysis of enzymatic activity and accessibility was undertaken using fluorescence labelling and two-photon microscopy. These experiments revealed that thermolysin could access the core of particles when linear peptides are used, while access was restricted to the surface when using branched actuators. These responsive µPEGA particles were then loaded with a fluorescent labeled dextran by application of a sequential pH change. The payload could be selectively released at physiological ionic strength when exposed to the target enzyme.

Graphical abstract: Branched peptide actuators for enzyme responsive hydrogel particles

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Oct 2008, accepted on 27 Jan 2009 and first published on 05 Mar 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B818174H
Citation: Soft Matter, 2009,5, 1728-1734
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    Branched peptide actuators for enzyme responsive hydrogel particles

    T. O. McDonald, H. Qu, B. R. Saunders and R. V. Ulijn, Soft Matter, 2009, 5, 1728
    DOI: 10.1039/B818174H

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