Nanostructured Hydrogels for Three-Dimensional Cell Culture Through Self-Assembly of Fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl–Dipeptides


  • We acknowledge the University of Manchester for the financial support of VJ. We thank Patrick Hill (School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science) for help with ESEM and CryoSEM, Karen McKinlay (School of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Nottingham) for help with ESEM and Robert Fernandez (Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester) for help with confocal and two-photon microscopy.


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A number of short peptide amphiphiles consisting of dipeptides linked to fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl spontaneously form fibrous hydrogels under physiological conditions (see figure). The structural and physical properties of these gels are dictated by the amino acid sequence of the peptide building blocks, and the gels support the three-dimensional cell culture of chondrocytes.