Novel hyaluronan-based hydrogels obtained by supramolecular crosslinking with peptides

  • Ana Luísa de Oliveira Leite Faria (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In recent years, self-assembled biomaterials using peptides as building blocks have been developed as a solution for several medical challenges. Peptides offer a great diversity of biochemical properties and, through the combination of different amino acids, it is possible to produce a variety of peptide-based structures with specific proprieties with interest for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. In the present project, novel hyaluronan base hydrogels obtained by supramolecular crosslinking with peptides were developed for biomedical application. Thus, different designs of peptides, containing a positively charged residue at one end and an aromatic residue at other end, were synthesized to form supramolecular interactions with hyaluronic acid (HA). The mass of the synthesised peptides was confirmed by Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry (ESI-MS), their purity by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and their secondary structure by Circular Dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. In order to investigate gel formation, the peptides, in powder form and in solution of different concentrations at neutral and acidic pH, were combined with 1% and 2% w/v HA solutions of different molecular weights, following different strategies. Observation of gel formation was expected through electrostatic interactions between the positively charge residue of the peptide with HA (negatively charged) and π-π stacking between aromatic residues of the peptides. The resulted hydrogels were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), revealing a network of nasnofibrous structures. The concentration of the HA solutions, different molecular weights HA and the peptide design showed to have an effect on the density, organization and packing of the fibers.
Date of Award31 May 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorHelena Azevedo (Supervisor) & Elham Radvar (Co-Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Engenharia Biomédica

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