Self-assembling peptide hydrogels for the stabilization and sustained release of active Chondroitinase ABC in vitro and in spinal cord injuries

Andrea Raspa, Luisa Carminati, Raffaele Pugliese, Federico Fontana, Fabrizio Gelain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Activated microglia/macrophages infiltration, astrocyte migration, and increased production of inhibitory chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are standard harmful events taking place after the spinal cord injuries (SCI). The gliotic scar, viz. the outcome of chronic SCI, constitutes a long-lasting physical and chemical barrier to axonal regrowth. In the past two decades, various research groups targeted the hostile host microenvironments of the gliotic scar at the injury site. To this purpose, biomaterial scaffolds demonstrate to provide a promising potential for nervous cell restoration. We here focused our efforts on two self-assembling peptides (SAPs), featuring different self-assembled nanostructures, and on different methods of drug loading to exploit the neuroregenerative potential of Chondroitinase ABC (ChABC), a thermolabile pro-plastic agent attenuating the inhibitory action of CSPGs. Enzymatic activity of ChABC (usually lasting less than 72 hours in vitro) released from SAPs was remarkably detected up to 42 days in vitro. ChABC was continuously released in vitro from a few days to 42 days as well. Also, injections of ChABC loaded SAP hydrogels favored host neural regeneration and behavioral recovery in chronic SCI in rats. Hence, SAP hydrogels showed great promise for the delivery of Chondroitinase ABC in future therapies targeting chronic SCI.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Chondroitinase ABC
  • Molecular dynamics simulation
  • Motor function recovery
  • Neural regeneration
  • Rheology
  • Self-assembling peptides
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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