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Nanomaterials 2019, 9(4), 541;

Magnetic Dehydrodipeptide-Based Self-Assembled Hydrogels for Theragnostic Applications

Centre of Chemistry, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Diagnostic Tools & Methods/Advanced (Magnetic) Theranostic Nanostructures Lab, International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), Av. Mestre José Veiga s/n, 4715-330 Braga, Portugal
REQUIMTE/LAQV, Laboratório de Farmacognosia, Departamento de Química, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade do Porto, R. Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, n° 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
Institute for Polymers and Composites/I3N, Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Minho, Campus de Azurém, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 3 April 2019
PDF [2079 KB, uploaded 3 April 2019]


Self-assembled peptide hydrogels have emerged in recent years as the new paradigm in biomaterials research. We have contributed to this field the development of hydrogels based on dehydrodipeptides N-capped with naproxen. The dehydrodipeptide hydrogels can be loaded with drugs, thus being potential nanocarriers for drug delivery. In this work novel dehydrodipeptides containing tyrosine and aspartic acid amino acid residues N-capped with naproxen and C-terminal dehydrophenylalanine were prepared and characterized. Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) were incorporated into the dehydrodipeptide-based hydrogels and their effect on the self-assembly, structure and rheological and magnetic properties of the hydrogels was studied. Magnetic hydrogels, with incorporated SPIONs, displayed concentration-dependent T2-MRI contrast enhancement. Moreover, upon magnetic excitation (alternating magnetic field –AMF–) the SPIONs were able to generate a significant amount of heat. Hence, magnetic hyperthermia can be used as a remote trigger for release of drug cargos and SPIONs incorporated into the self-assembled dehydrodipeptide hydrogels. View Full-Text
Keywords: naproxen N-capped dehydrodipeptides; self-assembled hydrogels; SPION; magnetic hydrogels; MRI; magnetic hyperthermia; drug-delivery naproxen N-capped dehydrodipeptides; self-assembled hydrogels; SPION; magnetic hydrogels; MRI; magnetic hyperthermia; drug-delivery

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Carvalho, A.; Gallo, J.; Pereira, D.M.; Valentão, P.; Andrade, P.B.; Hilliou, L.; Ferreira, P.M.; Bañobre-López, M.; Martins, J.A. Magnetic Dehydrodipeptide-Based Self-Assembled Hydrogels for Theragnostic Applications. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 541.

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