Narmoneva DA, Oni O, Sieminski AL, Zhang S, Gertler JP, Kamm RD, Lee RT. 2005. Self-assembling short oligopeptides and the promotion of angiogenesis. Biomaterials. 26(23):4837-46. Pubmed: 15763263


Because an adequate blood supply to and within tissues is an essential factor for successful tissue regeneration, promoting a functional microvasculature is a crucial factor for biomaterials. In this study, we demonstrate that short self-assembling peptides form scaffolds that provide an angiogenic environment promoting long-term cell survival and capillary-like network formation in three-dimensional cultures of human microvascular endothelial cells. Our data show that, in contrast to collagen type I, the peptide scaffold inhibits endothelial cell apoptosis in the absence of added angiogenic factors, accompanied by enhanced gene expression of the angiogenic factor VEGF. In addition, our results suggest that the process of capillary-like network formation and the size and spatial organization of cell networks may be controlled through manipulation of the scaffold properties, with a more rigid scaffold promoting extended structures with a larger inter-structure distance, as compared with more dense structures of smaller size observed in a more compliant scaffold. These findings indicate that self-assembling peptide scaffolds have potential for engineering vascularized tissues with control over angiogenic processes. Since these peptides can be modified in many ways, they may be uniquely valuable in regeneration of vascularized tissues.

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Rich Lee seeks to understand heart failure and metabolic diseases that accompany human aging, and translate that understanding into therapies. Lee is an active clinician, regularly treating patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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