Journal of the American Chemical Society

Differentially instructive extracellular protein micro-nets.

PMID 24825365


An ability to construct biological matter from the molecule up holds promise for applications ranging from smart materials to integrated biophysical models for synthetic biology. Biomolecular self-assembly is an efficient strategy for biomaterial construction which can be programmed to support desired function. A challenge remains in replicating the strategy synthetically, that is at will, and differentially, that is for a specific function at a given length scale. Here we introduce a self-assembly topology enabling a net-like architectural mimetic of native extracellular matrices capable of differential responses to cell adhesion--enhanced mammalian cell attachment and proliferation, and enhanced resistance to bacterial colonization--at the native sub-millimeter length scales. The biological performance of such protein micro-nets directly correlates with their morphological and chemical properties, offering thus an application model for differential extracellular matrices.