Elastin-mimetic protein polymers capable of physical and chemical crosslinking
We report the synthesis of a new class of recombinant elastin-mimetic triblock copolymer capable of both physical and chemical crosslinking. These investigations were motivated by a desire to capture features unique to both physical and chemical crosslinking schemes so as to exert optimal control over a wide range of potential properties afforded by protein-based multiblock materials. We postulated that by chemically locking a multiblock protein assembly in place, functional responses that are linked to specific domain structures and morphologies may be preserved over a broader range of loading conditions that would otherwise disrupt microphase structure solely stabilized by physical crosslinking. Specifically, elastic modulus was enhanced and creep strain reduced through the addition of chemical crosslinking sites. Additionally, we have demonstrated excellent in vivo biocompatibility of glutaraldehyde treated multiblock systems.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 30, Issue 3, January 2009, Pages 409–422