Synthetic Extracellular Matrices Constructed by Self-assembling Peptides for Tissue Engineering and Regeneration
The extracellular matrix (ECM) regulates cell differentiation, proliferation, and migration and functions as a scaffold for cells during the regeneration of injured tissue. We are developing synthetic ECM-mimetic materials that enable regeneration and functional recovery of the damaged brain, which is difficult to regenerate.
We believe that the use of artificial materials with functions similar to those of ECM will be effective in inducing tissue regeneration. Therefore, we are developing artificial materials that have all the functions of ECM, such as cell adhesion, mechanical strength to support cells, and sustained release of growth factors. We have developed JigSAP, a self-assembling peptide that can be synthesized with high purity and forms a fiber-like structure similar to ECM by molecular assembly. JigSAP is capable of immobilizing growth factors as full-length proteins and releasing them slowly over a period of several days. We have demonstrated that JigSAP immobilized with VEGF, a growth factor that induces angiogenesis, restores behavioral function in a model mouse of cerebral infarction. This is the first case in which a single administration has achieved a high recovery of behavioral function in a mouse model of subacute cerebral infarction, which is difficult to treat with existing intervention methods because of the passage of time since the onset of the disease. (Nature Communications 2021)