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Open Access research which pushes advances in bionanotechnology

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SIPBS is a major research centre in Scotland focusing on 'new medicines', 'better medicines' and 'better use of medicines'. This includes the exploration of nanoparticles and nanomedicines within the wider research agenda of bionanotechnology, in which the tools of nanotechnology are applied to solve biological problems. At SIPBS multidisciplinary approaches are also pursued to improve bioscience understanding of novel therapeutic targets with the aim of developing therapeutic interventions and the investigation, development and manufacture of drug substances and products.

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Minimalistic supramolecular proteoglycan mimics by co-assembly of aromatic peptide and carbohydrate amphiphiles

Brito, Alexandra and Abul-Haija, Yousef M. and Da Costa, Diana Soares and Novoa-Carballal, Ramon and Reis, Rui L. and Ulijn, Rein V. and Pires, Ricardo A. and Pashkuleva, Iva (2019) Minimalistic supramolecular proteoglycan mimics by co-assembly of aromatic peptide and carbohydrate amphiphiles. Chemical Science, 10 (8). pp. 2385-2390. ISSN 2041-6520

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    We report the co-assembly of aromatic carbohydrate and dipeptide amphiphiles under physiological conditions as a strategy to generate minimalistic proteoglycan mimics. The resulting nanofibers present a structural, fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl-diphenylalanine (Fmoc-FF) core and a functional carbohydrate (Fmoc-glucosamine-6-sulfate or -phosphate) shell. The size, degree of bundling and mechanical properties of the assembled structures depend on the chemical nature of the carbohydrate amphiphile used. In cell culture medium, these nanofibers can further organize into supramolecular hydrogels. We demonstrate that, similar to proteoglycans, the assembled gels prolong the stability of growth factors and preserve the viability of cultured cells. Our results demonstrate that this approach can be applied to the design of extracellular matrix (ECM) substitutes for future regenerative therapies.