Synthetic Polypeptide-Based Hydrogel Systems for Biomaterials


Liz Welch


Caroline Chopko, Linda Griffith, Paula Hammond

Author Affiliation: 

Department of Chemical Engineering; Department of Biological Engineering, Koch Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA


We have designed poly(propargyl-L-glutamate) (PPLG) synthetic polypeptides to which different molecules can be “clicked” to achieve dense brush polypeptide backbone structures, helical rod polymers that form the basis of unique hydrogels, and temperature and pH responsive polymers. A driving factor in our research has been to design a new platform in which a PPLG unit with reactive side chains can be integrated with a multi arm PEG thiol to produce a synthetic hydrogel matrix. This grafted polypeptide more closely mimics the protein secondary structure found in native extracellular matrix (ECM) thus presenting a biologically significant format for cell culture.