Injectable Tripeptide/Polymer Nanoparticles Supramolecular Hydrogel: A Candidate for the Treatment of Inflammatory Pathologies

Supramolecular peptide-based hydrogels attract great attention in several fields, i.e., biomedicine, catalysis, energy, and materials chemistry, due to the noncovalent nature of the self-assembly and functional tunable properties defined by the amino acid sequence. In this work, we developed an injectable hybrid supramolecular hydrogel whose formation was triggered by electrostatic interactions between a phosphorylated tripeptide, Fmoc-FFpY (F: phenylalanine, pY: phosphorylated tyrosine), and cationic polymer nanoparticles made of vinylimidazole and ketoprofen (poly(HKT-co-VI) NPs). Hydrogel formation was assessed through inverted tube tests, and its fibrillary structure, around polymer NPs, was observed by transmission electron microscopy. Interestingly, peptide self-assembly yields the formation of nontwisted and twisted fibers, which could be attributed to β-sheets and α-helix structures, respectively, as characterized by circular dichroism and infrared spectroscopies. An increase of the elastic modulus of the Fmoc-FFpY/polymer NPs hybrid hydrogels was observed with peptide concentration as well as its injectability property, due to its shear thinning behavior and self-healing ability. After checking their stability under physiological conditions, the cytotoxicity properties of these hybrid hydrogels were evaluated in contact with human dermal fibroblasts (FBH) and murine macrophages (RAW 264.7). Finally, the Fmoc-FFpY/polymer NPs hybrid hydrogels exhibited a great nitric oxide reduction (∼67%) up to basal values of pro-inflammatory RAW 264.7 cells, thus confirming their excellent anti-inflammatory properties for the treatment of localized inflammatory pathologies.

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Criado-Gonzalez, M. et al. Injectable Tripeptide/Polymer Nanoparticles Supramolecular Hydrogel: A Candidate for the Treatment of Inflammatory Pathologies. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 14, 10068–10080 (2022). Download
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