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Dr. Helena Azevedo, Peptides and hyaluronan: natural partners for self-assembly and regenerative therapies

Image: Dr. Helena Azevedo
Dr. Helena Azevedo

Date: 2 October 2013   Time: 15:00 - 16:00

Dr. Helena Azevedo, School of Engineering & Materials Science, Queen Mary, University of London

SEMS/IoB Seminar Series
Coffee/tea/biscuits provided after the seminar

Sugars and amino acids are the natural building blocks of carbohydrates and proteins, critical constituents of all organisms. Polysaccharides are produced in nature with remarkable chemical and structural diversity. Hyaluronan (HA) is a highly abundant anionic polysaccharide found throughout the mammalian connective tissues. HA has been recognized as an organizer of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in different tissues. For example, HA is a strategic player in cartilage ECM, functioning as the central filament of the cartilage proteoglycan aggregate (aggrecan). The dynamic flexibility of HA, associated with its simplicity, make it a versatile macromolecular template to create supramolecular structures. We aim to combine biological inspiration with the tools of chemistry, physics and engineering to understand and develop self-assembling systems based on hyaluronan and synthetic peptides. In this seminar we will present our efforts on using HA as dynamic component to construct complex biomaterials by self-assembly and the possibilities of using these advanced biomaterials, capable of exhibiting specific signals and cell guiding features, in regenerative medicine applications.

References
1. Mendes A. C. et al. WIREs Nanomed & Nanobiotechnol 2013. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1238.
2. Capito R. M. et al. Science (2008), 319(5871):1812-1816.
3. Mendes A. C. et al. Adv Funct Mater (2013), 23(4):430-438.
4. Ferreira D.S. et al. Biomaterials Sci 2013, 1(9):952-964.

Location:  The People's Palace - PP1