Researchers Develop Thermo-Responsive Protein Hydrogel for Use in Biomedicine

An illustration of how an engineered Q protein self-assembles to type fiber-based hydrogels at low temperature. These hydrogels have a porous microstructure that permits them for use for drug supply functions. Credit score: NYU Tandon

Think about a wonderfully biocompatible, protein-based drug supply system sturdy sufficient to outlive in the physique for greater than two weeks and able to offering sustained treatment launch. An interdisciplinary analysis crew led by Jin Kim Montclare, a professor of biomolecular and chemical engineering on the NYU Tandon College of Engineering, has created the primary protein-engineered hydrogel that meets these standards, advancing an space of biochemistry vital to not solely to the way forward for drug supply, however tissue engineering and regenerative medication.

Hydrogels are three-dimensional polymer networks that reversibly transition from resolution to gel in response to bodily or chemical stimuli, akin to temperature or acidity. These polymer matrices can encapsulate cargo, akin to small molecules, or present structural scaffolding for tissue engineering functions. Montclare is lead writer of a brand new paper in the journal Biomacromolecules, which particulars the creation of a hydrogel comprised of a single protein area that displays lots of the similar properties as artificial hydrogels. Protein hydrogels are extra biocompatible than artificial ones, and don’t require doubtlessly poisonous chemical crosslinkers.

“That is the primary thermo-responsive protein hydrogel primarily based on a single coiled-coil protein that transitions from resolution to gel at low temperatures by way of a technique of self-assembly, with out the necessity for exterior brokers,” stated Montclare. “It’s an thrilling growth as a result of protein-based hydrogels are way more fascinating for use in biomedicine.”

The analysis crew performed experiments encapsulating a mannequin small molecule inside their protein hydrogel, discovering that small molecule binding elevated thermostability and mechanical integrity and allowed for launch over a timeframe corresponding to different sustained-release drug supply autos. Future work will concentrate on designing protein hydrogels tuned to reply to particular temperatures for varied drug supply functions.


Montclare’s co-authors from NYU Tandon embrace current doctoral graduate Lindsay Okay. Hill; graduate scholar Michael Meleties; postdoctoral researcher Priya Katyal; Xuan Xie and Che-Fu Liu, each former analysis scientists in Montclare’s lab; and undergraduate college students Erika Delgado-Fukushima and Teeba Jihad. The crew additionally contains researchers from the State College of New York Downstate Medical Middle, Metropolis Faculty of New York, the Middle for Superior Imaging Innovation and Analysis on the NYU College of Drugs, the Simons Basis’s Flatiron Institute Middle for Computational Biology, the NYU Middle for Genomics and Programs Biology, and the NYU Courant Institute for Mathematical Sciences.

Reference: “Thermoresponsive Protein-Engineered Coiled-Coil Hydrogel for Sustained Small-Molecule Launch”by Lindsay Okay. HillMichael MeletiesPriya KatyalXuan XieErika Delgado-FukushimaTeeba JihadChe-Fu LiuSean O’NeillRaymond S. TuP. Douglas RenfrewRichard BonneauYoussef Z. WadghiriJin Kim Montclare, 29 July 2019, Biomacromolecules.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.9b00107

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