Viscoelastic properties and nanoscale structures of composite oligopeptide-polysaccharide hydrogels.

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TitleViscoelastic properties and nanoscale structures of composite oligopeptide-polysaccharide hydrogels.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsHyland, LL, Taraban, MB, Feng, Y, Hammouda, B, Y Yu, B
Date Published2012 Mar
KeywordsBiopolymers, Elasticity, Hydrogels, Models, Molecular, Molecular Conformation, Nanostructures, Oligopeptides, Polysaccharides, Tissue Scaffolds, Viscosity

Biocompatible and biodegradable peptide hydrogels are drawing increasing attention as prospective materials for human soft tissue repair and replacement. To improve the rather unfavorable mechanical properties of our pure peptide hydrogels, in this work we examined the possibility of creating a double hydrogel network. This network was created by means of the coassembly of mutually attractive, but self-repulsive oligopeptides within an already-existing fibrous network formed by the charged, biocompatible polysaccharides chitosan, alginate, and chondroitin. Using dynamic oscillatory rheology experiments, it was found that the coassembly of the peptides within the existing polysaccharide network resulted in a less stiff material as compared to the pure peptide networks (the elastic modulus G' decreased from 90 to 10 kPa). However, these composite oligopeptide-polysaccharide hydrogels were characterized by a greater resistance to deformation (the yield strain γ grew from 4 to 100%). Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) was used to study the 2D cross-sectional shapes of the fibers, their dimensional characteristics, and the mesh sizes of the fibrous networks. Differences in material structures found with SANS experiments confirmed rheology data, showing that incorporation of the peptides dramatically changed the morphology of the polysaccharide network. The resulting fibers were structurally very similar to those forming the pure peptide networks, but formed less stiff gels because of their markedly greater mesh sizes. Together, these findings suggest an approach for the development of highly deformation-resistant biomaterials.

Alternate JournalBiopolymers
PubMed ID21994046
PubMed Central IDPMC3506395
Grant ListR01 EB004416 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
EB004416 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States