Bioactive scaffolds with enhanced supramolecular motion: promote recovery from spinal cord injury!

 | Post date: 2021/11/19 | 
The signaling of cells by scaffolds of synthetic molecules that mimic proteins is known to be effective in the regeneration of tissues. Álvarez et al. synthesized supramolecular peptide fibril scaffolds bearing two peptide sequences that promote nerve regeneration, one that reduces glial scarring and another that promotes blood vessel formation (see the Perspective by Wojciechowski and Stevens). In a mouse model of paralyzing human spinal cord injury, mutations in a tetrapeptide domain outside of the signaling regions improved recovery by promoting intense supramolecular motion within the fibrils. They describe peptide amphiphile supramolecular polymers containing two distinct signals and test them in a mouse model of severe spinal cord injury. One signal activates the transmembrane receptor β1-integrin and a second one activates the basic fibroblast growth factor 2 receptor. By mutating the peptide sequence of the amphiphilic monomers in nonbioactive domains, they intensified the motions of molecules within scaffold fibrils. This resulted in notable differences in vascular growth, axonal regeneration, myelination, survival of motor neurons, reduced gliosis, and functional recovery. 
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