Protein therapies face challenges including short half-lives, high cost, and dangerous side effects at concentrations required for efficacy. S. Stupp, S. Lee, T. Fyrner, W. Hsu, E. Hsu, and co-workers have now developed glycopeptide nanostructures that potentiate protein signalling to cells by mimicking the biological function of sulfated glycans. The concept was demonstrated using a model of spinal fusion in which bone regenerated with a growth factor dose that was 100-fold lower than required in the animal model. The cover image depicts a human spine covered with an artist's impression of the nanostructure surfaces that display hundreds of thousands of sulfated sugar molecules to activate proteins.
IMAGE: MARK SENIW, SIMPSON QUERREY INSTITUTE, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
COVER DESIGN: DAVID SHAND