In regenerative medicine there is a strong need for therapeutic delivery systems and tissue scaffolds. Additionally, wound healing complications affect thousands of people each year. The biggest problem constitute chronic wounds, e.g. diabetic ulcers. Currently available methods are not fully effective in the treatment of this wounds, thus new methods are constantly being sought. Hydrogel scaffolds may be the solution to this problems. They can be used not only to deliver bioactive compounds but also cells to the wound site. Additionally, they have appropriate properties like ability to modify, high water content or easy-controlled pore sizes, which promote their use in wound healing and regenerative medicine.
In this study we designed peptide hydrogels scaffolds built by bioactive peptides, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) derivatives, linked to RADA16-I by a sequence specific for matrix metalloproteinase- 7 (MMP-7). The ability of the peptides to self-assembly and create a hydrogel was checked with transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron croymicroscopy (CryoSEM). The ability to release the active sequence from the scaffold was assessed by enzyme cleavage. Cytotoxicity of designed peptide scaffolds and their effect on proliferation of human cells was evaluated with colorimetric methods (XTT and LDH assays) on different in vitro models (human skin cells, adipose-derived stromal cells (AD-MSCs) and human primary fibroblasts). Their potential to induce allergies was checked with flow cytometric Basophil Activation Test (BAT).
The obtained result indicate that we have created a functional scaffolds which is able to form fibres and self-assemble. This compounds do not show cytotoxicity and express pro-proliferative properties towards human cells. Moreover, they do not show potential to induce allergies. It indicates that designed scaffolds show a potential to be used in wound healing and regenerative medicine for example as wound dressings or scaffolds for cell therapies.