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Circulation. 2005 Feb 1;111(4):442-50.

Injectable self-assembling peptide nanofibers create intramyocardial microenvironments for endothelial cells.

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Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.



Promoting survival of transplanted cells or endogenous precursors is an important goal. We hypothesized that a novel approach to promote vascularization would be to create injectable microenvironments within the myocardium that recruit endothelial cells and promote their survival and organization.


In this study we demonstrate that self-assembling peptides can be injected and that the resulting nanofiber microenvironments are readily detectable within the myocardium. Furthermore, the self-assembling peptide nanofiber microenvironments recruit progenitor cells that express endothelial markers, as determined by staining with isolectin and for the endothelial-specific protein platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1. Vascular smooth muscle cells are recruited to the microenvironment and appear to form functional vascular structures. After the endothelial cell population, cells that express alpha-sarcomeric actin and the transcription factor Nkx2.5 infiltrate the peptide microenvironment. When exogenous donor green fluorescent protein-positive neonatal cardiomyocytes were injected with the self-assembling peptides, transplanted cardiomyocytes in the peptide microenvironment survived and also augmented endogenous cell recruitment.


These experiments demonstrate that self-assembling peptides can create nanofiber microenvironments in the myocardium and that these microenvironments promote vascular cell recruitment. Because these peptide nanofibers may be modified in a variety of ways, this approach may enable injectable tissue regeneration strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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