The Biopolymer Patch Kit: Novel Materials for Regenerative Medicine

The Biopolymer Patch Kit
Reported by
Sarah Webb

Posted April 16, 2008


When designing biomaterials with defined length and sequence, it's hard to beat nature's system for building polymers. Researchers have combined the broad chemical palette available to polymer chemists and materials scientists with the biological synthetic machinery available to biochemists and biologists to create a new interdisciplinary approach to material design. Researchers who are designing protein-based biomaterials presented their findings at a February 27, 2008, meeting at the Academy.

Joel Schneider of the University of Delaware discussed peptide-based hydrogels that could switch from a liquid suspension to a gel solid under specific physical or chemical cues. Vincent Conticello of Emory University focused on how sequence affects structure and function in the design of new biomaterials that mimic elastin. David Tirrell from Caltech showcased how the ability to incorporate new chemistries into amino acid side chains overcomes the fundamental limitation of biopolymers: the fixed number of functional groups on the 20 canonical amino acids.

Journal Articles

Joel Schneider

Haines LA, Rajagopal K, Ozbas B, et al. 2005. Light activated hydrogel formation via the triggered folding and self-assembly of a designed peptide. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127: 17025. Full Text (PDF, 249 KB)

Haines-Butterick L, Rajagopal K, Branco M, Salick D, Rughani R, Pilarz M, Lamm MS, Pochan DJ, and Schneider JP. 2007. Controlling hydrogelation kinetics by peptide design for three-dimensional encapsulation and injectable delivery of cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 104: 7791-7796. Full Text

Kretsinger JK, Haines L, Ozbas B, et al. 2005. Cytocompatibility of self-assembled β-hairpin peptide hydrogel surfaces. Biomaterials 26: 5177. Full Text (PDF, 507 KB)

Ozbas B, Kretsinger J, Rajagopal K, Schneider JP, Pochan DJ. 2004. Salt-triggered peptide dolding and consequent self-assembly into hydrogels with tunable modulus. Macromolecules 37: 7331. Full Text (PDF, 217 KB)

Pochan DJ, Schneider JP, Kretsinger J, et al. 2003. Thermally reversible hydrogels via intramolecular folding and consequent self-assembly of a de novo designed peptide. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 125: 11802. Full Text (PDF, 51.9 KB)

Rajagopal K, Schneider JP. 2004. Self-assembling peptides and proteins for nano-technological applications. Curr. Opin. Structural Biology 14: 480. Full Text (PDF, 195 KB)

Schneider JP, Pochan DJ, Ozbas B, et al. 2002. Responsive hydrogels from the intramolecular folding and self-assembly of a designed peptide. J. Am. Chem Soc. 124: 15030. Full Text (PDF, 362 KB)

Veerman C, Rajagopal K, Palla C, et al. 2006. Gelation kinetics of β-hairpin peptide hydrogel networks. Macromolecules 36: 6608-6614. Full Text (PDF, 181 KB)

Vincent Conticello

Kim W, McMillan RA, Snyder JP, Conticello, VP. 2005. A stereoelectronic effect on turn formation due to proline substitution in elastin-mimetic polypeptides. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127: 18121-18132.

Lee TAT, Cooper A, Apkarian RP, Conticello VP. 2000. Thermo-reversible self-assembly of nanoparticles derived from elastin-mimetic polypeptides. Advanced Materials 12: 1105-1110.

Nagapudi K, Brinkman WT, Leisen J, et al. 2005. Protein-based thermoplastic elastomers. Macromolecules 38: 345-354.

Wright ER, McMillan, RA, Cooper A, et al. 2002. Thermoplastic elastomer hydrogels via self-assembly of an elastin-mimetic triblock polypeptide. Advanced Functional Materials 12: 149-154.

Zimenkov Y, Dublin, SN, Ni R, et al. 2006. Rational design of a reversible pH-responsive switch for peptide self-assembly. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 128: 6770-6771.

David Tirrell

Dieterich DC, Link AJ, Graumann J, et al. 2006. Selective identification of newly synthesized proteins in mammalian cells using bioorthogonal noncanonical amino acid tagging (BONCAT). Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 103: 9482-9487. Full Text

Kirshenbaum K. Carrico IS, Tirrell DA. 2002. Biosynthesis of proteins incorporating a versatile set of phenylalanine analogues. Chembiochem. 3: 235-237.

Langer R, Tirrell DA. 2004. Designing materials for biology and medicine. Nature 428: 487-492.

Link AJ, Mock ML, Tirrell DA. 2003. Non-canonical amino acids in protein engineering. Curr. Opin. in Biotechnology 14: 603-609.

Maskarinec SA, Tirrell DA. 2005. Protein engineering approaches to biomaterials design. Curr. Opin. in Biotechnology 16: 422-426.

Montclare JK, Tirrell DA. 2006. Evolving proteins of novel composition. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 45: 4518-4521.

van Hest JC, Tirell DA. 2001. Protein-based materials, toward a new level of structural control. Chem. Commun. 19: 1897-1904.


Joel P. Schneider, PhD

University of Delaware
e-mail | web site | publications

Joel Schneider is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Delaware. After completing his PhD in Jeffery W. Kelly's laboratory at Texas A&M University in 1995, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Bill DeGrado's laboratory from 1996 to 1999. Schneider received an NSF Career Award in 2004 and a DuPont Young Faculty Award in 2005.

Vincent P. Conticello, PhD

Emory University
e-mail | web site | publications

Vincent Conticello is a professor of biomolecular chemistry at Emory University in Atlanta. He completed his PhD at Northwestern University with Tobin Marks in 1990. After postdoctoral positions with Bob Grubbs at Caltech and with David Tirrell at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he began his independent career at Emory. He received a Herman Frasch foundation grant in 1997 and an NSF Career award in 1999.

David A. Tirrell, PhD

California Institute of Technology
e-mail | web site | publications

David Tirrell completed his PhD at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. After a brief period working at Kyoto University, he accepted a faculty position at Carnegie Mellon University in 1978. In 1984 he returned to the University of Massachusetts to become director of the Materials Research Laboratory. He moved to the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Caltech in 1998, and has been the chair there since 1999. He has won numerous awards including the Arthur C. Cope Scholar award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

Sarah Webb

Before hanging up her labcoat, Sarah Webb earned a PhD in bioorganic chemistry from Indiana University. Based in Brooklyn, NY, she writes about science, health, and technology for publications including Science, Science News, Discover, and Nature Reports Stem Cells.