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Nano Lett. 2006 Sep;6(9):2086-90.

Heparin binding nanostructures to promote growth of blood vessels.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.


Controlling new blood vessel formation is of interest in regenerative medicine and cancer treatment. Heparin, a biopolymer that binds to angiogenic growth factors, was used to nucleate the self-assembly of nanostructures from designed peptide amphiphile molecules. This process yields rigid nanofibers that display heparin chains to orient proteins for cell signaling. In vivo, the nanostructures stimulated extensive new blood vessel formation using nanogram amounts of growth-factor proteins that by themselves did not induce any detectable angiogenesis.

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