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Title: Self-assembled octapeptide gels for cartilage repair
Author: Mujeeb, Ayeesha
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 298X
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2013
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Molecular self-assembly provides a simple and efficient route of constructing well-defined nanostructures which may serve as extra cellular matrix (ECM) mimics. This work focuses on two specific octapeptides: FEFEFKFK and FEFKFEFK (F: phenylalanine, E: glutamic acid, K: lysine) with alternating charge distribution. The peptides were shown to self-assemble in solution and form β-sheet rich nanofibres which, above a critical gelation concentration (CGC), entangle to form self-supporting hydrogels. The fibre morphology of the hydrogels was analysed using TEM and Cryo-SEM illustrating the dense fibrillar network of nanometer size fibres. Oscillatory rheology results showed that the hydrogels possesses viscoelastic properties. By varying peptide concentration and type hydrogel stiffness, viscosity, water content, fibre density and other mechanical properties were tailored to control cell interactions and subsequent tissue growth. Bovine chondrocytes were used to assess the biocompatibility of these novel scaffolds over 21 days under 2D and 3D cell culture conditions, particularly looking into cell morphology, proliferation and matrix deposition. 2D culture resulted in cell viability and collagen type I deposition. In 3D culture, the mechanically stable gel was shown to support viability, retention of cell morphology and collagen type II deposition. Subsequently, the scaffold may serve as a template for cartilage repair. In addition, this research also focused on developing novel injectable scaffold design with in situ gelation properties to encapsulate chondrocytes for cell culture applications.
Supervisor: Saiani, Alberto; Gough, Julie Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Self-assembly; Octapeptides; De novo design; Hydrogels; Cell culture; Chondrocytes; Injectable