Covalently modified polysaccharides are routinely used in tissue engineering due to their tailored biofunctionality. Understanding the effect of single-chain level modification on the solution conformation of the single chain, and more importantly on the self-assembly and aggregation of the ensemble of chains is expected to improve our ability to control network topology and the properties of the resulting gels. Attaching an RGD peptide to a polysaccharide backbone is a common procedure used to promote cell adhesion in hydrogel scaffolds. Recently it has been shown that the spatial presentation of the RGD sequences affects the cell behavior; thus, understanding the effects of grafted RGD on the conformational properties of the solvated polysaccharide chains is a prerequisite for rational design of polysaccharide-peptide based biomaterials. Here we investigate the effect of covalently linked G4RGDS on the conformational state of the individual chain and chain assemblies of alginate, chitosan, and hyaluronic acid (HA) in aqueous solutions. Two peptide fractions were studied using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and rheology. In all cases, upon peptide conjugation structural differences were observed. Analysis of the scattering data shows evidence of clustering for a higher fraction of bound peptide. Moreover for all three polysaccharides the typical shear thinning behavior of the natural polysaccharide solutions is replaced by a Newtonian fluid behavior for the lower fraction conjugated peptide while a more pronounced shear thinning behavior is observed for the higher fraction. These results indicate that the fraction of the bounded peptide, determines the behavior of a polysaccharide-peptide conjugates in solution, regardless of the specific nature of the polysaccharide.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry