Platform that creates conjugates of self-assembling peptides and cell signaling molecules as a potential therapeutic for the treatment and repair of tissue.
- Hydrogels form at physiological pH and osmolarity.
- Produces cells that display characteristics of adult cardiac muscle cells.
- Additional molecules (pro-growth or pro-repair) could be incorporated into the hydrogel and delivered to the body.
Ischemic heart disease, which includes myocardial infarction and angina, is the leading cause of death in the US. Drugs for ischemic heart disease address acute treatment (addressing the blockage or clot) and maintenance and prevention of myocardial infarction. An unmet need remains for new therapies that can aid in the repair of myocardial infarction rather than those that manage the symptoms. Therapeutics presently in development include gene therapy and stem cell therapies which could reduce mortality and improve quality of life in cardiovascular patients. Current approaches for reparative cell therapy following cardiac injury however are challenged by a lack of survival of the transplanted cell.
Notch signaling is a highly conserved signaling pathway and notch proteins are transmembrane proteins that are actively involved in development. A particular notch receptor, Notch 1 contains a ligand, Jagged 1, which is important to cardiovascular development. Because this signaling system is important to the development, morphogenesis, and survival of cardiovascular tissue, Emory researchers have developed a self-assembling peptide hydrogel that incorporates Jag1 and targets this signaling pathway. It can be used as a potential cell therapy for myocardial infarction and ischemic heart disease. When applied to cardiac progenitor cells, the self-assembling peptide produces cells that display characteristics of cardiac muscle cells. An improved method of manufacturing for the conjugates of self-assembling peptides and bioactive peptide has also been determined. This potential therapeutic and strategic could be used to treat and repair cardiac or other tissues, depending upon the factors incorporated.
In vitro data concerning efficacy of peptide and delivery platform available.
Read the Emory Lab Land piece on this technology.