A Caltech Library Service

Tuning the erosion rate of artificial protein hydrogels through control of network topology

Shen, Wei and Zhang, Kechun and Kornfield, Julia A. and Tirrell, David A. (2006) Tuning the erosion rate of artificial protein hydrogels through control of network topology. Nature Materials, 5 (2). pp. 153-158. ISSN 1476-1122.

[img] PDF - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Erosion behaviour governs the use of physical hydrogels in biomedical applications ranging from controlled release to cell encapsulation. Genetically engineered protein hydrogels offer unique means of controlling the erosion rate by engineering their amino acid sequences and network topology. Here, we show that the erosion rate of such materials can be tuned by harnessing selective molecular recognition, discrete aggregation number and orientational discrimination of coiled-coil protein domains. Hydrogels formed from a triblock artificial protein bearing dissimilar helical coiled-coil end domains (P and A) erode more than one hundredfold slower than hydrogels formed from those bearing the same end domains (either P or A). The reduced erosion rate is a consequence of the fact that looped chains are suppressed because P and A tend not to associate with each other. Thus, the erosion rate can be tuned over several orders of magnitude in artificial protein hydrogels, opening the door to diverse biomedical applications.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Information ReadCube access
Kornfield, Julia A.0000-0001-6746-8634
Tirrell, David A.0000-0003-3175-4596
Additional Information:© 2006 Nature Publishing Group Received 23 June 2005; accepted 6 December 2005; published 29 January 2006. The authors acknowledge the NSF Center for the Science and Engineering of Materials for financial support. Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to J.A.K. or D.A.T. Supplementary Information accompanies this paper on
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150114-155726855
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:53273
Deposited By: Anne Hormann
Deposited On:16 Jan 2015 04:45
Last Modified:15 May 2020 22:28

Repository Staff Only: item control page