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J Control Release. 2006 Aug 28;114(2):130-42. Epub 2006 Jun 10.

Manipulation of hydrogel assembly and growth factor delivery via the use of peptide-polysaccharide interactions.

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA.


The design of materials in which assembly, mechanical response, and biological properties are controlled by protein-polysaccharide interactions could provide materials that mimic the biological environment and find use in the delivery of growth factors. In the investigations reported here, a heparin-binding, coiled-coil peptide, PF4 ZIP, was employed to mediate the assembly of heparinized polymers. The heparin-binding affinity of this peptide was compared with that of other heparin-binding peptides (HBP) via heparin-sepharose chromatography and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) experiments. Results from these experiments indicate that PF4 ZIP demonstrates a higher heparin-binding affinity and heparin association rate when compared to the heparin-binding domains of antithrombin III (ATIII) and heparin-interacting protein (HIP). Viscoelastic hydrogels were formed upon the association of PF4 ZIP-functionalized star poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG-PF4 ZIP) with low-molecular-weight heparin-functionalized star PEG (PEG-LMWH). The viscoelastic properties of the hydrogels can be altered via variations in the ratio of LMWH to PF4 ZIP. bFGF release from these gels have also been investigated. Comparison of the bFGF release profiles with the hydrogel erosion profiles indicates that bFGF delivery from this class of hydrogels is mainly an erosion-controlled process and the rates of bFGF release can be modulated via choice of HBP or via variations in the mechanical properties of the hydrogels. Manipulation of hydrogel physical properties and erosion profiles will provide novel materials for controlled growth factor delivery and other biomedical applications.

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