Author(s): Davis ME, Motion JP, Narmoneva DA, Takahashi T, Hakuno D,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Promoting survival of transplanted cells or endogenous precursors is an important goal. We hypothesized that a novel approach to promote vascularization would be to create injectable microenvironments within the myocardium that recruit endothelial cells and promote their survival and organization. METHODS AND RESULTS: In this study we demonstrate that self-assembling peptides can be injected and that the resulting nanofiber microenvironments are readily detectable within the myocardium. Furthermore, the self-assembling peptide nanofiber microenvironments recruit progenitor cells that express endothelial markers, as determined by staining with isolectin and for the endothelial-specific protein platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1. Vascular smooth muscle cells are recruited to the microenvironment and appear to form functional vascular structures. After the endothelial cell population, cells that express alpha-sarcomeric actin and the transcription factor Nkx2.5 infiltrate the peptide microenvironment. When exogenous donor green fluorescent protein-positive neonatal cardiomyocytes were injected with the self-assembling peptides, transplanted cardiomyocytes in the peptide microenvironment survived and also augmented endogenous cell recruitment. CONCLUSIONS: These experiments demonstrate that self-assembling peptides can create nanofiber microenvironments in the myocardium and that these microenvironments promote vascular cell recruitment. Because these peptide nanofibers may be modified in a variety of ways, this approach may enable injectable tissue regeneration strategies.
This article was published in Circulation
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology