Specific Adsorption via Peptide Tags: Oriented Grafting and Release of Growth Factors for Tissue Engineering

Numerous strategies have been proposed to decorate biomaterials with growth factors (GFs) for tissue engineering applications; their practicability as clinical tools, however, remains uncertain. We previously presented two complementary amphipathic peptides, namely, E5 and K5, which could be utilized as tags to direct GF capture onto organic materials via E5/K5 coiled-coil interactions. We here investigated their potential as mediators of GF physical adsorption. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays highlighted that both electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions could contribute to the adsorption process, without interfering with the peptides propensity for coiled-coil interactions. E5-tagged vascular endothelial growth factor, in particular, was efficiently adsorbed to poly­(allylamine)-functionalized polystyrene, was maintained in a bioactive state and was steadily liberated over several days with little initial burst. This simple immobilization procedure was successfully applied to poly­(ethylene terephthalate) films. Altogether, our data demonstrated that coil-tag-directed adsorption is a tunable, versatile and straightforward strategy to decorate biomaterials with GFs.