Pro-Angiogenic Self-Assembling Peptides
Peptide amphiphiles (PAs), peptides that self-assemble into hydrogels with a nanofibrous network, are interesting biomaterials due to their biocompatibility and biodegradability. Self-assembling peptide-based materials include a wide range of peptide motifs that form one-dimensional nanostructures in aqueous solution. Two different PAs are considered in this M.S. thesis work: lipidated peptides, and gas-releasing peptides (GRPs). These biomaterials have been developed to function as potential therapeutics that promote the growth of new blood vessels. The analyses conducted on the lipidated peptides, which were designed to include a peptide sequence that promotes angiogenesis, include cytotoxicity, viability, and tube formation assays. The GRPs were designed to release H2S, which is also capable of promoting angiogenesis. Several characteristic properties of the GRPs were analyzed, including morphology, mechanics, self-assembly, and gas release rates. Furthermore, cytotoxicity assays were conducted followed by the demonstration of gas uptake in endothelial cells.