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Bioactive peptide matrices: from molecular structure to biomedical applications

Grant number: 19/19719-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2020
Effective date (End): April 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biophysics - Molecular Biophysics
Principal Investigator:Emerson Rodrigo da Silva
Grantee:Lucas Rodrigues de Mello
Home Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This project aims to produce and characterize novel nanostructured scaffolds obtained from self-assembling bioactive peptides. Our focus will be on sequences belonging to three major classes of bioactive compounds: cell penetrating peptides, constituents of extracellular matrix (collagen- and elastin-like sequences) and anti-inflammatory peptides. We will seek for answers to fundamental questions related to the self-assembly pathway of these matrices and to their supramolecular properties. The structure of these scaffolds in the presence of model drugs will be investigated. A set of advanced techniques encompassing infrared nanospectroscopy combined with Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM-IR), Small-Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) and Coherent Anti-Stoke Raman Scattering microscopy (CARS) will be used in the endeavor of providing detailed information on the organization of these systems. In addition to deep structural characterization, we aim to test bioactivity to determine if functions exhibited by molecular blocks are preserved or even enhanced upon organization into superstructures. Based on both structural and bioactivity data, we aim to establish structure-activity relationships and contribute for optimizing the formulation of biomedical materials based on these bioactive molecules. (AU)