Hydrogelation of the Short Self-Assembling Peptide I(3)QGK Regulated by Transglutaminase and Use for Rapid Hemostasis

Thomas Waigh, Jian Lu, Zhang Y, R Fei, CH Cao, H Xu, CX Chen, M Wang, JX Wang, JK Bai, H Cox

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The self-assembly of short peptides is a promising route to the creation of smart biomaterials. To combine peptide self-assembly with enzymatic catalysis, we design an amphiphilic short peptide I3QGK that can self-assemble into long nanoribbons in aqueous solution. Upon addition of transglutaminase (TGase), the peptide solution undergoes a distinct sol–gel transition to form a rigid hydrogel, which shows strong shear-thinning and immediate recovery properties. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements indicate the occurrence of considerable nanofibers in addition to the original nanoribbons. Liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry analyses reveal the enzymatic formation of peptide dimers from monomers through intermolecular ε-(γ-glutamyl)lysine isopeptide bonding. The dimers rapidly self-assemble into flexible and entangled nanofibers, and the coexistence of the original nanoribbons and the newly created nanofibers is responsible for hydrogelation. Factor XIII in blood is converted by thrombin to an active TGase (Factor XIIIa) during bleeding, so the peptide solution shows a more rapid and effective hemostasis via a combination of gelling blood and promoting platelet adhesion, relative to other hemostasis methods or materials. These features of I3QGK, together with its low cytotoxicity against normal mammalian cells and noninduction of nonspecific immunogenic responses, endow it with great potential for future clinical hemostasis applications.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)17833-17841
    JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
    Issue number28
    Early online date23 Jun 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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