Having been only recently designed and made available for purchase, there are still plenty of questions around PeptiGels, such as what are PeptiGels? Specifically designed to be used for 2D and 3D cell culture, these synthetic peptide hydrogels support cells and biological tissue growth in a way that makes them ideal for a range of testing applications.
Aside from this, what are some of the main benefits of using these new peptide hydrogels? Below, we’ll break down some of their key features, and why these are so beneficial for researchers working with cells and biological molecules.
Ease of Use
PeptiGels are available in a variety of formulations, allowing you to experiment with different ones to find the perfect environment for the needs of the cells you are looking to culture. The gels strengthen upon the addition of cell media, making it incredibly simple to use them for both 2D and 3D cell culture techniques.
However, their formulation and gel behavior are not the only features that make PetiGels convenient to use. They should be kept at 4°C when not in use, making them easy to store, and can be worked with at room temperature during the process of mixing cells or biological molecules and can then simply be pipetted into well plates or inserts. Furthermore, because of their easily modifiable nature, you can tailor the PeptiGels to support any specific cell type – both functionally and mechanically. To support easy imagining, PeptiGels have also been developed to be transparent, making them and their contents compatible with the majority of the most common imaging techniques, allowing researches to document the progress and results of their work far more easily.
One other benefit of PeptiGels is the advantage they offer in the field of tissue engineering. As they effectively replicate the properties of a natural extracellular matrix (ECM) along with the capacity to encapsulate cells or other such biological molecules, they offer an ideal platform to support cell growth, proliferation and express their own natural ECM. They can also provide a nutrient-rich environment that enhances cell growth, and because they are inherently biocompatible and biodegradable, they are ideal for use within tissue regeneration and open up the potential for these materials to be used within translational work moving towards clinical applications.
No Post-Printing Process Required
Because PeptiGels possess the property of shear thinning, a non-Newtonian behavior which means that following the 3D printing process, they recover their gel properties instantly and require no additional processing. This is down to the fact that they can replicate the natural environment of cells as they are composed of a dense network of peptide fibers, which also help to cut down variations between different batches, leading to more accurate results.
Applications in Cell and Cancer Study
One of the main challenges in cancer biology studies has been the creation of an environment that can replicate those of different organ tissues, allowing cells to communicate in the study in the same way as they naturally would. The issue is that until the introduction of PeptiGels, all existing hydrogels have lacked the necessary properties to support the different pH levels, chemical properties, and ionic strengths required to replicate cancer tissues for study. PeptiGels can, however, be used to accurately recreate both cancers as well as healthy tissues, by modulating both biochemical and mechanical properties.