Systematic studies of a self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold with other scaffolds

Fabrizio Gelain, Andrea Lomander, Angelo L. Vescovi, Shuguang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


A designer self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold has been systematically studied with 10 commonly used scaffolds in a several week study using neural stem cells (NSC), a potential therapeutic source for cellular transplantations in nervous system injuries. These cells not only provide a good in vitro model for the development and regeneration of the nervous system, but may also be helpful in testing for cytotoxicity, cellular adhesion, and differentiation properties of biological and synthetic scaffolds used in medical practices. We tested the self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold with the most commonly used scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine including PLLA, PLGA, PCLA, collagen I, collagen IV, and Matrigel. Additionally, each scaffold was coated with laminin in order to evaluate the utility of this surface treatment. Each scaffold was evaluated by measuring cell viability, differentiation and maturation of the differentiated stem cell progeny (i.e. progenitor cells, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and neurons) over 4 weeks. The optimal scaf-fold should show high numbers of living and differentiated cells. In addition, it was demonstrated that the laminin surface treatment is capable of improving the overall scaffold performance. The designer self-assembling peptide RADA16 nanofiber scaffold represents a new class of biologically inspired material. The well-defined molecular structure with considerable potential for further functionalization and slow drug delivery makes the designer peptide scaffolds a very attractive class of biological material for a number of applications. The peptide nanofiber scaffold is comparable with the clinically approved synthetic scaffolds. The peptide scaffolds are not only pure, but also have the potential to be further designed at the molecular level, thus they promise to be useful for cell adhesion and differentiation studies as well as for future biomedical and clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-434
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Biologically inspired material
  • Neural stem cells
  • PuraMatrix
  • Regenerative medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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