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Toward the development of peptide-based hydrogels for tissue regeneration applications with inherent antibacterial activity (PeptideBasedHydrogel)
Start date: Nov 1, 2009, End date: Oct 31, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Hydrogels are heavily hydrated materials finding use as delivery vehicles in autologous tissue engineering. In one approach, healthy cells are first isolated from the patient and expanded in the lab. The cells are then encapsulated in a hydrogel and the resulting gel/cell construct is injected into the wound site where healing is catalyzed by the implanted cells. Although early efforts show promise, implant-centered infections can be problematic since the microenvironment of many hydrogels are not only ideal for the intended mammalian cells but also for opportunistic bacteria. In this proposal, a multidisciplinary approach entailing structure-based peptide design, biophysical and materials properties analysis as well as mammalian and bacterial cell culturing will be used to formulate a peptide-based hydrogel that meets the stringent requirements for mammalian cell encapsulation and delivery, yet is also inherently antibacterial. This work will result in novel materials that will find immediate use in tissue engineering.

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