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Gels are materials composed of a three-dimensional crosslinked polymer or colloidal network immersed in a fluid. They are usually soft and weak, but can be made hard and tough. Hydrogels are gels that have water as their main constituent.
We produced a human recombinant Hsp70-1A fused with the cell-penetrating peptide Tat (Tat-Hsp70-1A), that was neuroprotective in vitro against the dopaminergic toxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). We developed and characterized a Tat-Hsp70-1A delivery system by exploiting an injectable, biocompatible, biodegradable semi-interpenetrating polymer network composed of collagen (COLL) and low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid (LMW HA), structured with gelatin particles. Tat-Hsp70-1A diffused from the selected COLL-LMW HA composites in an active form and protected dopaminergic cells and neurons in Parkinson’s disease (PD) models. Furthermore, Tat-Hsp70-loaded composites conveyed neuroprotection both at behavioral and dopaminergic neuronal level against striatal injection of 6-OHDA.
Bipyridine derivatives have been shown to control the self-assembly of amyloid-derived dipeptides. Here the authors show that 4,4'-bipyridine inhibits the formation of amyloid-like beta-sheet assembly by Fmoc-protected diphenylalanine, prompting a reorganisation to helical structure, and characterise the transition pathway.
Thermosensitive microgels are widely studied polymer-colloid hybrids but their interactions and packing are still not fully understood. Here, the authors study the linear viscoelasticity of dense microgels and analyse the local particle structure and morphology based on superresolution microscopy.
Supramolecular gels comprise low-molecular weight gelators that assemble by non-covalent interactions. In this Review, a range of fabrication methods, as well as strategies for shaping, structuring and patterning supramolecular gels are discussed.
We fabricated the doubly crosslinked gel by stretching the gel during the gelation using tetra-PEG gels. In this gel, two networks having different reference states coexist with and balance each other, influencing Young’s modulus (E) and permanent set (λs). We tuned the time for the stretching imposition on the gels, which influences the 1st network fraction (g1/g0). λs increased with increasing the 1st network fraction, while E had a maximum value against g1/g0, which were explained by the balance between the strain energies of the first and second networks.
The development of artificial muscle-like actuators is often hampered by the lack of general fabrication routes towards anisotropic responsive materials. Here, the authors fabricate anisotropic hydrogels by an in-situ polymerization strategy of a lamellar network, crosslinked by metal nanostructure assemblies.