11.01.10Biomaterials Protease degradable tethers for controlled and cell-mediated release of nanoparticles in 2- and 3-dimensions
Strategies to control the release rate of bioactive signals from tissue engineering scaffolds are essential for tissue regeneration and tissue engineering applications. Here we report on a strategy to achieve temporal control over nanoparticle release from biomaterials using cell-secreted proteases. This cell-triggered release approach utilizes peptides that are degraded by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) at different rates to immobilize nanoparticles directly to the biomaterial surface. Thus, the peptide-immobilized nanoparticles are released with temporal control through the action of cell-released MMPs. We found that release rates of peptide-immobilized nanoparticles were a function of peptide sensitivity to proteases, the number of tethers between the nanoparticle and the surface and the concentration of proteases used to induce release. Cellular internalization of the peptide-immobilized nanoparticles was also a function of the peptide sensitivity to proteases, the number of tethers between the nanoparticle and the surface and MMP expression profile of the cells. Similar trends were observed for peptide-immobilized nanoparticles inside micro-porous hydrogels, indicating protease sensitive tethers are effective in controlling release rate and internalization of nanoparticles. Such a temporal delivery strategy of nanoparticles loaded with therapeutic payloads (e.g. protein, DNA, siRNA) can be an ideal means to guide tissue formation.