A promising class of materials for such applications is the nanostructured scaffolds formed by epitope presenting minimalist self-assembled peptides; these are bioactive on a cellular length scale, while presenting as an easily handled hydrogel. Here, we show that the assembly process can distribute an anti-inflammatory polysaccharide, fucoidan, localized to the nanofibers within the scaffold to create a biomaterial for cancer therapy. We show that it supports healthy cells, while inducing apoptosis in cancerous epithelial cells, as demonstrated by the significant down-regulation of gene and protein expression pathways associated with epithelial cancer progression. Our findings highlight an innovative material approach with potential applications in local epithelial cancer immunotherapy and drug delivery.
- Supramolecular materials
- Tissue engineering