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Construction of Self-Assembled Nanostructures based Tetraphenylethylene Dipeptides: Supramolecular Nanobelts as Biomimetic Hydrogel for Cell Adhesion and Proliferation

Abstract

Supramolecular fluorescent materials with aggregation induced emission (AIE) characteristics have gained promising applications as fluorescent probes for bio and chemosensors. In this study, a versatile low molecular weight tetraphenylethylene dipeptide hydrogelator (TPE-YY) with efficient AIE characteristics was developed, which was able to form hydrogel under a broad pH range from 3.7 to 10.2. The self-assembly of these hydrogels is completely pH dependent with significant structural transitions from high to low pH. At relatively high pH (10.2), a weak transparent hydrogel with entangled network of nanofibers is resulted, while upon neutralization (pH=7.2) with dilute HCl, a stable semi transparent gel with twisted nanobelts is formed. As the pH of the hydrogels is reduced to below 5.7, a turbid viscous gel and precipitation occurred with thickening of the nanobelts. Surprisingly, the hydrogel resulting from Glucono-δ-lactone triggered gel showed only nanofibers which is independent of pH. The nature of the hydrogels and the nanostructures at different pH were throughly examined and discussed by using oscillatory rheology, electron microscopy and various spectroscopic techniques {1H NMR, 2D-NMR, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and Circular Dichroism (CD)}. Interestingly, the self-assembled hydrogel exhibited excellent biocompatibility over 95% using hydrogel leachbles on two different cell lines 3A6 (Human MSCs) and L929 (mouse fibroblast). Moreover, the self-assembled nanobelts forming at neutral pH showed an excellent cell adhesion and proliferation of 3A6 cells, whereas the nanofibers showed poor cell adhesion and proliferation. Overall, we demonstrate the importance of chemical design for the formation of self-assembled nanobelts and supramolecular hydrogel at physiological pH with selective cell adhesion and proliferation representing promising applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
03 May 2020
Accepted
29 Jun 2020
First published
30 Jun 2020

J. Mater. Chem. B, 2020, Accepted Manuscript
Article type
Paper

Construction of Self-Assembled Nanostructures based Tetraphenylethylene Dipeptides: Supramolecular Nanobelts as Biomimetic Hydrogel for Cell Adhesion and Proliferation

S. K. Talloj, M. Mohiuddin and H. Lin, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2020, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/D0TB01147A

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