Functional Supramolecular Polymers: A Fluorescent Microfibrous Network in a Supramolecular Hydrogel for High-Contrast Live Cell-Material Imaging in 3D Environments

Shu Min Hsu, Fang Yi Wu, Hsun Cheng, Yu Tang Huang, Yi Ru Hsieh, Dion Tzu Huan Tseng, Mei Yu Yeh, Shih Chieh Hung, Hsin-Chieh Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

A new bottom-up strategy based on aromatic peptide amphiphile is developed for a high-contrast visualization of 3D live cell-material imaging—something that has been difficult to achieve previously because of the problems associated with the diffraction of light by the nanosized peptide materials and the aggregation-caused quenching of aggregated π-conjugated fluorophores in the nanostructures. This study reports an example of a novel supramolecular hydrogelator, naphthaleneimide-phenylalanine (NI-Phe), which forms a self-supporting hydrogel displaying a unique microfibrous network and promising aggregation-induced emission characteristics at pH 7.4. The storage modulus of the NI-Phe gel supports the mass of a cell for 3D cell culturing. This work illustrates a new dopant-free supramolecular approach, complementary to well-established doping procedures that should facilitate the development of live cell imaging in 3D scaffolding materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2406-2412
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Volume5
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Sep 2016

Keywords

  • aggregation-induced emission
  • cell imaging
  • hydrogels
  • self-assembly
  • supramolecular polymers

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