Abstract

Controlling molecular interactions between bioinspired molecules can enable the development of new materials with higher complexity and innovative properties. Here we report on a dynamic system that emerges from the conformational modification of an elastin-like protein by peptide amphiphiles and with the capacity to access, and be maintained in, non-equilibrium for substantial periods of time. The system enables the formation of a robust membrane that displays controlled assembly and disassembly capabilities, adhesion and sealing to surfaces, self-healing and the capability to undergo morphogenesis into tubular structures with high spatiotemporal control. We use advanced microscopy along with turbidity and spectroscopic measurements to investigate the mechanism of assembly and its relation to the distinctive membrane architecture and the resulting dynamic properties. Using cell-culture experiments with endothelial and adipose-derived stem cells, we demonstrate the potential of this system to generate complex bioactive scaffolds for applications such as tissue engineering.

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Acknowledgements

The work was supported by the European Research Council Starting Grant (STROFUNSCAFF), the European Commission under FP7 and H2020 programs ((NMP3-LA-2011-263363, HEALTH-F4-2011-278557, PITN-GA-2012-317304, MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN- 642687, 642687 H2020-NMP-2014-646075), the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Spain) (MAT2012-38043-C02-01, MAT2013-41723-R, MAT2013-42473-R) the Junta de Castilla y Leon (VA244U13, VA313U14) and the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, grants PTDC/EBB-BIO/114523/2009 and SFRH/BD/44977/2008. Additional support was obtained from the Bilateral Program Portugal–Spain Integrated Actions 2011 (E-50/11) and Marie Curie Career Integration Grant 618335. The authors thank the European Synchrotron Research Facility for access to synchrotron beamline BM29 and P. Pernot for support during the experiments, and C. López (Centres Científics i Tecnològics University of Barcelona), C. Semino (Institut Químic de Sarrià), E. Rebollo (Advanced Fluorescence Microscopy Unit in the Molecular Biology Institute of Barcelona), J. P. Aguilar, R. Doodkorte, A. Amzour and the technical staff of the Material Characterization Laboratory and Nanovision Laboratory at the Queen Mary University of London for the constructive discussions and contributions in this study.

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Affiliations

  1. School of Engineering & Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London, London E1 4NS, UK

    • Karla E. Inostroza-Brito
    • , Estelle Collin
    • , Daniela S. Ferreira
    • , Lorenzo Botto
    • , Helena S. Azevedo
    •  & Alvaro Mata
  2. Nanotechnology Platform, Parc Científic de Barcelona, Barcelona 08028, Spain

    • Karla E. Inostroza-Brito
    • , Katherine H. Smith
    • , Amàlia Monge-Marcet
    • , Raúl Pérez Rodríguez
    •  & Alvaro Mata
  3. Department of Chemical Engineering and the Ilze Katz, Institute for Nanoscale Science & Technology Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel

    • Orit Siton-Mendelson
    •  & Ronit Bitton
  4. 3B's Research Group – Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics, University of Minho, Guimarães 4805-017, Portugal

    • Daniela S. Ferreira
    • , Rui L. Reis
    •  & Helena S. Azevedo
  5. ICVS/3B's, PT Government Associate Laboratory, Guimarães 4805-017, Portugal

    • Daniela S. Ferreira
    • , Rui L. Reis
    •  & Helena S. Azevedo
  6. BIOFORGE Group, University of Valladolid, CIBER-BBN, Valladolid 47011, Spain

    • Matilde Alonso
    •  & José Carlos Rodríguez-Cabello
  7. Departament de Química Física, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona 08028, Spain

    • Francesc Sagués
  8. Institute of Bioengineering, Queen Mary University of London, London E1 4NS, UK

    • Lorenzo Botto
    • , Helena S. Azevedo
    •  & Alvaro Mata

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Contributions

A.M., K.H.S. and K.E.I. conceived the project. D.S.F. and H.S.A. performed the synthesis and chemical characterization of some PAs used in this study. E.C. carried out cell-culture studies. O.S and R.B. collected and analysed SAXS data. R.P.R. performed and analysed the TOF-SIM experiments and K.E.I. performed experiments. M.A., J.C.R. and R.L.R. provided facilities to perform experiments. A.M., K.E.I., A.M.-M., H.S.A., L.B., R.B. and F.S. interpreted the data and wrote the manuscript. All the authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alvaro Mata.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nchem.2349

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