Self-assembling multidomain peptides tailor biological responses through biphasic release
Delivery of small molecules and drugs to tissues is a mainstay of several tissue engineering strategies. Next generation treatments focused on localized drug delivery offer a more effective means in dealing with refractory healing when compared to systemic approaches. Here we describe a novel multidomain peptide hydrogel that capitalizes on synthetic peptide chemistry, supramolecular self-assembly and cytokine delivery to tailor biological responses. This material is biomimetic, shows shear stress recovery and offers a nanofibrous matrix that sequesters cytokines. The biphasic pattern of cytokine release results in the spatio-temporal activation of THP-1 monocytes and macrophages. Furthermore, macrophage–material interactions are promoted without generation of a proinflammatory environment. Subcutaneous implantation of injectable scaffolds showed a marked increase in macrophage infiltration and polarization dictated by cytokine loading as early as 3 days, with complete scaffold resorption by day 14. Macrophage interaction and response to the peptide composite facilitated the (i) recruitment of monocytes/macrophages, (ii) sustained residence of immune cells until degradation, and (iii) promotion of a pro-resolution M2 environment. Our results suggest the potential use of this injectable cytokine loaded hydrogel scaffold in a variety of tissue engineering applications.
Inflammation; Macrophage polarization; Multi-domain peptide; Self-assembly