Combining self-assembling peptide gels with three-dimensional elastomer scaffolds

A. Vallés-Lluch, M. Arnal-Pastor, C. Martínez-Ramos, G. Vilariño-Feltrer, L. Vikingsson, C. Castells-Sala, C. E. Semino, M. Monleón Pradas

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Some of the problems raised by the combination of porous scaffolds and self-assembling peptide (SAP) gels as constructs for tissue engineering applications are addressed for the first time. Scaffolds of poly(ethyl acrylate) and the SAP gel RAD16-I were employed. The in situ gelation of the SAP gel inside the pores of the scaffolds was studied. The scaffold-cum-gel constructs were characterized morphologically, physicochemically and mechanically. The possibility of incorporating an active molecule (bovine serum albumin, taken here as a model molecule for others) in the gel within the scaffold's pores was assessed, and the kinetics of its release in phosphate-buffered saline was followed. Cell seeding and colonization of these constructs were preliminarily studied with L929 fibroblasts and subsequently checked with sheep adipose-tissue-derived stem cells intended for further preclinical studies. Static (conventional) and dynamically assisted seedings were compared for bare scaffolds and the scaffold-cum-gel constructs. The SAP gel inside the pores of the scaffold significantly improved the uniformity and density of cell colonization of the three-dimensional (3-D) structure. These constructs could be of use in different advanced tissue engineering applications, where, apart from a cell-friendly extracellular matrix -like aqueous environment, a larger-scale 3-D structure able to keep the cells in a specific place, give mechanical support and/or conduct spatially the tissue growth could be required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9451-9460
Number of pages10
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Cell seeding
  • Controlled release
  • Poly(ethyl acrylate)
  • Scaffold
  • Self-assembling peptide gel


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