Peptides that Control Biomaterial/Tissue Interactions
We propose to engineer ‘anti-fragile’ interfaces between biomaterials and tissues, such that bond strengths actually improve in response to insult. Specifically, dynamic interfaces will be created by placing oligomers at the interface that affix the biomaterial to tissue. Since most tissues contain collagen as a major extracellular matrix protein, the oligomers will react with and reversibly bind with the collagen matrix. For applications involving mineralized tissues, we additionally propose the incorporation of hydroxyapatite-binding peptides, such that the interface-spanning oligomers are able to bind both organic and inorganic tissue, stabilizing the interface even after prolonged chemical and mechanical insult. To analyze the nanoscale interface structure, we will employ AFM/IR imaging to assess cross-linking between the biomaterial and tissue, as well as the composition of the interfacial zone, and composition of the adjacent tissue.