Non-reversible heat-induced gelation of a biocompatible Fmoc-hexapeptide in water

Jonathan P. Wojciechowski, Adam D. Martin, Eric Y. Du, Christopher J. Garvey, Robert E. Nordon, Pall Thordarson*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Hydrogel materials which respond to changes in temperature are widely applicable for injectable drug delivery or tissue engineering applications. Here, we report the unsual heat-induced gelation behaviour of a low molecular weight gelator based on an Fmoc-hexapeptide, Fmoc-GFFRGD. We show that Fmoc-GFFRGD forms kinetically stable fibres when mixed with divalent cations (e.g. Ca2+). Gelation of the mixture occurs upon heating of the mixture which enables electrostatic screening by the divalent cations and hydrophobic collapse of the fibres to give a self-supporting hydrogel network that shows good biocompatibility with L929 fibroblast cells. This work highlights a unique mechanism to initiate heat-induced gelation which should find opportunities as a gelation trigger for injectable hydrogels or fundamental self-assembly applications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)8262-8267
    Number of pages6
    Issue number15
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2020


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