Functionalised α-helical peptide hydrogels for neural tissue engineering

N Mehrban, B Zhu, F Tamagnini, FI Young, A Wasmuth, KL Hudson, AR Thomson, MA Birchall, AD Randall, B Song, DN Woolfson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (SciVal)


Trauma to the central and peripheral nervous systems often lead to serious morbidity. Current surgical methods for repairing or replacing such damage have limitations. Tissue engineering offers a potential alternative. Here we show that functionalized α-helical-peptide hydrogels can be used to induce attachment, migration, proliferation and differentiation of murine embryonic neural stem cells (NSCs). Specifically, compared with undecorated gels, those functionalized with Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser (RGDS) peptides increase the proliferative activity of NSCs; promote their directional migration; induce differentiation, with increased expression of microtubule-associated protein-2, and a low expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein; and lead to the formation of larger neurospheres. Electrophysiological measurements from NSCs grown in RGDS-decorated gels indicate developmental progress toward mature neuron-like behavior. Our data indicate that these functional peptide hydrogels may go some way toward overcoming the limitations of current approaches to nerve-tissue repair.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-439
Number of pages9
JournalACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering
Issue number6
Early online date8 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


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