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Non-reversible heat-induced gelation of a biocompatible Fmoc-hexapeptide in water

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Abstract

Hydrogel materials which respond to changes in temperature are widely applicable for injectable drug delivery or tissue engineering applications. Here, we report the unsual heat-induced gelation behaviour of a low molecular weight gelator based on an Fmoc-hexapeptide, Fmoc-GFFRGD. We show that Fmoc-GFFRGD forms kinetically stable fibres when mixed with divalent cations (e.g. Ca2+). Gelation of the mixture occurs upon heating of the mixture which enables electrostatic screening by the divalent cations and hydrophobic collapse of the fibres to give a self-supporting hydrogel network that shows good biocompatibility with L929 fibroblast cells. This work highlights a unique mechanism to initiate heat-induced gelation which should find opportunities as a gelation trigger for injectable hydrogels or fundamental self-assembly applications.

Graphical abstract: Non-reversible heat-induced gelation of a biocompatible Fmoc-hexapeptide in water

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Article information


Submitted
10 Jan 2020
Accepted
24 Mar 2020
First published
25 Mar 2020

Nanoscale, 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Non-reversible heat-induced gelation of a biocompatible Fmoc-hexapeptide in water

J. P. Wojciechowski, A. D. Martin, E. Y. Du, C. J. Garvey, R. E. Nordon and P. Thordarson, Nanoscale, 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0NR00289E

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