Development of self-assembling peptide inspired bioinks for neural tissue engineering applications
© 2019 Omnipress - All rights reserved. Statement of Purpose: The ability to fabricate artificial tissue constructs offers significant promise to regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Advances in additive manufacturing have enabled the bioprinting of spatially defined cell-laden constructs capable of providing spatiotemporal presentation of biological and physical cues to cells in a multicomponent structure. 1 Despite significant advance in bioprinting techniques, a key challenge remains in developing soft biomaterials that can adequately recapitulate the complexities of native extracellular matrix (ECM) whilst facilitating bioprinting. Self-Assembling Peptides (SAPs) are a unique class of hydrogels which spontaneously immobilize surrounding solvents through formation of biomimetic structures, resulting in hydrogel networks highly reminiscent of native ECM. Through strategic engineering of SAP sequences, ECM inspired bioactive motifs may be introduced. IKVAV, a laminin motif, can be used to generate Fmoc-DIKVAV (a fibril forming SAP) shown to support the survival and migration of transplanted cortical neural progenitor cells in vivo. 2 Despite Fmoc-DIKVAV’s excellent biocompatibility, the inherent lack of covalent bonds between fibrils results in poor printability and extensive swelling in vitro. For this reason, there is a key need to modify this material to enhance printability without compromising bioactivity.