In vivo neuroprotective effect of a self-assembled peptide hydrogel

Biplab Sarkar, Xiaotang Ma, Agnieszka Agas, Zain Siddiqui, Patricia Iglesias-Montoro, Peter K. Nguyen, Ka Kyung Kim, James Haorah, Vivek A. Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with poor intrinsic healing responses and long-term cognitive decline. A major pathological outcome of TBI is acute glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity (GME) experienced by neurons. Short peptides based on the neuroprotective extracellular glycoprotein ependymin have shown the ability to slow down the effect of GME — however, such short peptides tend to diffuse away from target sites after in vivo delivery. We have designed a self-assembling peptide containing an ependymin mimic that can form nanofibrous matrices. The peptide was evaluated in situ to assess neuroprotective utility after an acute fluid-percussion injury. This biomimetic matrix can conform to the intracranial damaged site after delivery, due its shear-responsive rheological properties. We demonstrated the potential efficacy of the peptide for supporting neuronal survival in vitro and in vivo. Our study demonstrates the potential of these implantable acellular hydrogels for managing the acute (up to 7 days) pathophysiological sequelae after traumatic brain injury. Further work is needed to evaluate less invasive administrative routes and long-term functional and behavioral improvements after injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number127295
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - Mar 15 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


  • Ependymin
  • Neuroprotection
  • Self-assembly
  • Traumatic brain injury


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