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Science. 2001 Nov 23;294(5547):1684-8.

Self-assembly and mineralization of peptide-amphiphile nanofibers.

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  • 1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Medical School, Northwestern University, 2225 North Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.

Abstract

We have used the pH-induced self-assembly of a peptide-amphiphile to make a nanostructured fibrous scaffold reminiscent of extracellular matrix. The design of this peptide-amphiphile allows the nanofibers to be reversibly cross-linked to enhance or decrease their structural integrity. After cross-linking, the fibers are able to direct mineralization of hydroxyapatite to form a composite material in which the crystallographic c axes of hydroxyapatite are aligned with the long axes of the fibers. This alignment is the same as that observed between collagen fibrils and hydroxyapatite crystals in bone.

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