• self-assembly;
  • hydrogel;
  • enzyme;
  • drug release


Enzyme-responsive hydrogels have great potential in applications of controlled drug release, tissue engineering, etc. In this study, we reported on a supramolecular hydrogel that showed responses to two enzymes, phosphatase which was used to form the hydrogels and esterase which could trigger gel-sol phase transitions. The gelation process and visco-elasticity property of the resulting gel, morphology of the nanostructures in hydrogel, and peptide conformation in the self-assembled nanostructure were characterized by rheology, transmission electron microscope (TEM), and circular dichroism (CD), respectively. Potential application of the enzyme-responsive hydrogel in drug release was also demonstrated in this study. Though only one potential application of drug release was proved in this study, the responsive hydrogel system in this study might have potentials for the applications in fields of cell culture, controlled-drug release, etc.