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Poly(vinyl alcohol)-induced Thixotropy of a L-Carnosine-Based Cytocompatible, Tripeptidic Hydrogel


The generally poor mechanical stability of hydrogels limits their use as functional materials for many biomedical applications. In this work, a poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) embedded hybrid hydrogel of a β-amino acid-containing a Fmoc-protected tripeptide was produced at physiological pH (7.4) and room temperature. The hydrogel system was characterized by a number of techniques, including UV-vis, fluorescence, circular dichroism, FT-IR spectroscopy, electron microscopy, and rheology. While the tripeptide-based pure hydrogel was found to be unstable after ca. half an hour, addition of PVA, a water soluble polymer, increased the temporal and mechanical stability of the hydrogel. A rheological step-strain experiment demonstrates that the peptide-polymer hydrogel is thixotropic. Results from a fluorescence probe study and transmission electron microscopy reveal that addition of PVA increases both fibre diameters and entanglements. Circular dichroism spectra of the hydrogels confirmthe formation of aggregates with supramolecular chirality. The thixotropic nature of the hydrogel has been exploited to entrap and release doxorubicin, an anticancer drug, under physiological conditions. Furthermore, an MTT assay of the Fmoc-tripeptide using AH927 cells confirmed its cytocompatiblity, which broadens the utility of the hybrid gel forbiomedical applications.

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Aug 2018, accepted on 06 Dec 2018 and first published on 07 Dec 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01766B
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Poly(vinyl alcohol)-induced Thixotropy of a L-Carnosine-Based Cytocompatible, Tripeptidic Hydrogel

    R. Das Mahapatra, J. Dey and R. G. Weiss, Soft Matter, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01766B

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