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Article

Thixotropic Hydrogels Composed of Self-Assembled Nanofibers of Double-Hydrophobic Elastin-Like Block Polypeptides

1
Department of Materials Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8603, Japan
2
Department of Energy Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8603, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kazunori Matsuura
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(8), 4104; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22084104
Received: 30 March 2021 / Revised: 12 April 2021 / Accepted: 12 April 2021 / Published: 15 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Assembly Mechanism and Connection of Peptides and Proteins)
Physically crosslinked hydrogels with thixotropic properties attract considerable attention in the biomedical research field because their self-healing nature is useful in cell encapsulation, as injectable gels, and as bioinks for three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting. Here, we report the formation of thixotropic hydrogels containing nanofibers of double-hydrophobic elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs). The hydrogels are obtained with the double-hydrophobic ELPs at 0.5 wt%, the concentration of which is an order of magnitude lower than those for previously reported ELP hydrogels. Although the kinetics of hydrogel formation is slower for the double-hydrophobic ELP with a cell-binding sequence, the storage moduli G′ of mature hydrogels are similar regardless of the presence of a cell-binding sequence. Reversible gel–sol transitions are demonstrated in step-strain rheological measurements. The degree of recovery of the storage modulus G′ after the removal of high shear stress is improved by chemical crosslinking of nanofibers when intermolecular crosslinking is successful. This work would provide deeper insight into the structure–property relationships of the self-assembling polypeptides and a better design strategy for hydrogels with desired viscoelastic properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: elastin-like polypeptide; physical hydrogel; thixotropic gel; self-healing; chemical crosslinking elastin-like polypeptide; physical hydrogel; thixotropic gel; self-healing; chemical crosslinking
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sugioka, Y.; Nakamura, J.; Ohtsuki, C.; Sugawara-Narutaki, A. Thixotropic Hydrogels Composed of Self-Assembled Nanofibers of Double-Hydrophobic Elastin-Like Block Polypeptides. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 4104. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22084104

AMA Style

Sugioka Y, Nakamura J, Ohtsuki C, Sugawara-Narutaki A. Thixotropic Hydrogels Composed of Self-Assembled Nanofibers of Double-Hydrophobic Elastin-Like Block Polypeptides. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(8):4104. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22084104

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sugioka, Yusuke, Jin Nakamura, Chikara Ohtsuki, and Ayae Sugawara-Narutaki. 2021. "Thixotropic Hydrogels Composed of Self-Assembled Nanofibers of Double-Hydrophobic Elastin-Like Block Polypeptides" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22, no. 8: 4104. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22084104

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