Our Platform Technology
Based on over 15 years of research, we have developed a platform technology that enables us to understand completely how to drive and control the self-assembly of fully synthetic oligo-peptides into 3D fibrillar hydrogels, which are designed specifically to mimic the extracellular matrix. Such a solid science foundation provides us the versatility to meet our clients needs; we are able to tailor our hydrogels chemistry, functionality, mechanical properties and hence method of use and delivery mechanism for a wide range of exciting and high-growth application areas.
Short chain oligo-peptides
Our specially designed, short chain oligo-peptides are fully synthetic and spontaneously self-assemble into long fibres. These long fibres then entangle with each other to form 3D networks with a high-water content – hydrogels.
We can influence how these hydrogels assemble by controlling the chemistry of the peptide building blocks and their functionality. Using our technology, we have created PeptiGels® – hydrogels with a range of mechanical, chemical and functional properties so you can find the right matrix for your cells’ needs.
Peptide Hydrogels—A Tissue Engineering Strategy for the Prevention of Oesophageal Strictures
Kumar et al. Advanced Functional Materials, 27, 1702424 (2017)
Cell type: primary mouse oesophageal epithelial cells and primary rat oesophageal stromal fibroblasts
PeptiGel®: Alpha5 & CGD2
Use of PeptiGels®: PeptiGel® Alpha5 (catalogue product) & CGD2 (bespoke PeptiGel®) were successfully used for the 2D culture of primary mouse oesophageal epithelial cells and the 3D culture primary rat oesophageal stromal fibroblasts. The two PeptiGel® hydrogels were then combined to create a 3D co-culture model of both cell types supporting the formation of a stratified epithelial layer in-vivo. Findings from this study could lead to the use of PeptiGel® products as a minimally invasive endoscopic therapy to manage oesophageal strictures in the treatment of Barrett’s oesophagus.
3D cell bioprinting of self-assembling peptide-based hydrogels
Raphel et al. Materials Letters, 190, 103-106 (2017)
Cell type: EpH4 mammary epithelial cells
PeptiGel®: Alpha1 & Alpha4
Use of PeptiGels®: PeptiGel® Alpha1 and Alpha4 were use to bioprint and culture mammary epithelial cells. Cells viability was not adversely affected by the bioprinting process and after 7 days started to proliferate. This study shows the potential of PeptiGel® product as bioink for the 3D printing of cells for a range of applications such as drug testing and tissue model building.
RNA extraction from self-assembling peptide hydrogels to allow qPCR analysis of encapsulated cells
K.A. Burgess et al. PLOS ONE, 13(6): e0197517 (2018)
Cell type: Human endothelial kidney cells
PeptiGel®: Alpha1, Alpha2, Alpha3 Alpha4 & Alpha5
Use of PeptiGels® : PeptiGel® hydrogels were use to encapsulate human endothelial kidney cells and a protocol of the extraction of RNA and downstream RT-qPCR was developed. Pre-digestion of the hydrogels using a broad spectrum, pronase, was shown to significantly improve the extracted RNA yields. The ability to extract high yields of high purity RNA is a key in the use of qPCR for post cell culture analysis. This work is a further step towards the fulfilment of the full potential of PeptiGel® hydrogels and their use in the biological and medical fields.