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Supramolecular Self-Assembly to Control Structural and Biological Properties of Multicomponent Hydrogels

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  • Babatunde Okesola
  • Yuanhao Wu
  • Burak Derkus
  • Sammar Gani
  • Dongsheng Wu
  • Dafna Knani
  • David Kelham Smith
  • Dave Adams
  • Alvaro Mata


Publication details

JournalChemistry of Materials
DateAccepted/In press - 16 Aug 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 12 Sep 2019
DatePublished (current) - Oct 2019
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)7883-7897
Early online date12/09/19
Original languageEnglish


Self-assembled nanofibers are ubiquitous in nature and serve as inspiration for the design of supramolecular hydrogels. A multicomponent approach offers the possibility of enhancing tunability and functionality of this class of materials. We report on the synergistic multicomponent self-assembly involving a peptide amphiphile (PA) and a 1,3:2,4-dibenzylidene-D-sorbitol (DBS) gelator to generate hydrogels with tunable nanoscale morphology, improved stiffness, enhanced self-healing, and stability to enzymatic degradation. Using induced circular dichroism of Thioflavin T (ThT), electron microscopy, small-angle neutron scattering (SANS), and molecular dynamics approaches we confirm that the PA undergoes self-sorting while the DBS-gelator acts as an additive modifier for the PA nanofibers. The supramolecular interactions between the PA and DBS gelators result in improved bulk properties and cytocompatibility of the two-component hydrogels as compared to the single component systems. The tunable mechanical properties, self-healing ability, resistance to proteolysis, and biocompatibility of the hydrogels suggest future opportunities for the hydrogels as scaffolds for tissue engineering and drug delivery vehicles.

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© 2019 American Chemical Society. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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