Self-Assembly and Mineralization of Peptide-Amphiphile Nanofibers

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Science  23 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5547, pp. 1684-1688
DOI: 10.1126/science.1063187

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We have used the pH-induced self-assembly of a peptide-amphiphile to make a nanostructured fibrous scaffold reminiscent of extracellular matrix. The design of this peptide-amphiphile allows the nanofibers to be reversibly cross-linked to enhance or decrease their structural integrity. After cross-linking, the fibers are able to direct mineralization of hydroxyapatite to form a composite material in which the crystallographic c axes of hydroxyapatite are aligned with the long axes of the fibers. This alignment is the same as that observed between collagen fibrils and hydroxyapatite crystals in bone.

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