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Smart systems related to polypeptide sequences

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Abstract

Increasing interest for the application of polypeptide-based smart systems in the biomedical field has developed due to the advantages given by the peptidic sequence. This is due to characteristics of these systems, which include: biocompatibility, potential control of degradation, capability to provide a rich repertoire of biologically specific interactions, feasibility to self-assemble, possibility to combine different functionalities, and capability to give an environmentally responsive behavior. Recently, applications concerning the development of these systems are receiving greater attention since a targeted and programmable release of drugs (e.g. anti-cancer agents) can be achieved. Block copolymers are discussed due to their capability to render differently assembled architectures. Hybrid systems based on silica nanoparticles are also discussed. In both cases, the selected systems must be able to undergo fast changes in properties like solubility, shape, and dissociation or swelling capabilities. This review is structured in different chapters which explain the most recent advances on smart systems depending on the stimuli to which they are sensitive. Amphiphilic block copolymers based on polyanionic or polycationic peptides are, for example, typically employed for obtaining pH-responsive systems. Elastin-like polypeptides are usually used as thermoresponsive polymers, but performance can be increased by using techniques which utilize layer-by-layer electrostatic self-assembly. This approach offers a great potential to create multilayered systems, including nanocapsules, with different functionality. Recent strategies developed to get redox-, magnetic-, ultrasound-, enzyme-, light- and electric-responsive systems are extensively discussed. Finally, some indications concerning the possibilities of multi-responsive systems are discussed.

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Most cited references 318

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Stimuli-responsive polymers show a sharp change in properties upon a small or modest change in environmental condition, e.g. temperature, light, salt concentration or pH. This behaviour can be utilised for the preparation of so-called 'smart' drug delivery systems, which mimic biological response behaviour to a certain extent. The possible environmental conditions to use for this purpose are limited due to the biomedical setting of drug delivery as application. Different organs, tissues and cellular compartments may have large differences in pH, which makes the pH a suitable stimulus. Therefore the majority of examples, discussed in this paper, deal with pH-responsive drug delivery system. Thermo-responsive polymer is also covered to a large extent, as well as double-responsive system. The physico-chemical behaviour underlying the phase transition will be discussed in brief. Then selected examples of applications are described.
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Dermal substitution and wound healing are areas of medicine in which there have been many recent advances, but neither the commercially available products nor the products currently described in experimental studies are able to fully substitute for natural living skin. There is an overall consensus that to heal wounds, the substitution of connective tissue matrix, the main component of each wound, is necessary. Both artificial and natural polymers have been used to reconstitute dermis. Nowadays, collagen has been discovered again. Collagen is a natural substrate for cellular attachment, growth and differentiation, and promotes cellular proliferation and differentiation. Once dermis reconstruction is done, the covering of the wound surface with both in vitro expanded epidermis and autologous split-skin transplants is significantly easier and has an improved chance of success. Nowadays, many commercial and experimental products have been introduced to improve cutaneous wound healing. This review discusses some of both acellular and cell-containing products used in the treatment of skin wounds.

Author and article information

Affiliations
[] Laboratory of Synthetic Polymers, Structure and Properties (PSEP),Chemical Engineering Department, Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona, Spain
Author notes
Jordi Puiggalí, Email: Jordi.Puiggalí@upc.edu; Tel: +34-193-401-6684; Fax: +34-93-401-7150.
Contributors
Journal
AIMS Materials Science
AIMS Materials Science
AIMS Press
2372-0484
2372-0468
09 March 2016
: 3
: 1
: 289-323
Categories
Review

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