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New Self-Assembling Multifunctional Templates for the Biofabrication and Controlled Self-Release of Cultured Tissue

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ricardo Martins GouveiaORCiD, Professor Che ConnonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


The need to source live human tissues for research and clinical applications has been a major driving force for the development of new biomaterials. Ideally, these should elicit the formation of scaffold-free tissues with native-like structure and composition. In this study, we describe a biologically interactive coating that combines the fabrication and subsequent self-release of live purposeful tissues using template-cell-environment feedback. This smart coating was formed from a self-assembling peptide amphiphile comprising a protease-cleavable sequence contiguous with a cell attachment and signaling motif. This multifunctional material was subsequently used not only to instruct human corneal or skin fibroblasts to adhere and deposit discreet multiple layers of native extracellular matrix but also to govern their own self-directed release from the template solely through the action of endogenous metalloproteases. Tissues recovered through this physiologically relevant process were carrier-free and structurally and phenotypically equivalent to their natural counterparts. This technology contributes to a new paradigm in regenerative medicine, whereby materials are able to actively direct and respond to cell behavior. The novel application of such materials as a coating capable of directing the formation and detachment of complex tissues solely under physiological conditions can have broad use for fundamental research and in future cell and tissue therapies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gouveia RM, Castelletto V, Hamley IW, Connon CJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Tissue Engineering. Part A

Year: 2015

Volume: 21

Issue: 11-12

Pages: 1772-1784

Print publication date: 26/05/2015

Online publication date: 24/03/2015

Acceptance date: 17/02/2015

Date deposited: 20/07/2015

ISSN (print): 1937-3341

ISSN (electronic): 1937-335X

Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers


DOI: 10.1089/ten.tea.2014.0671


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