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Engineers improve plastic's potential for use in implants by linking it to biological material

to "map" its peaks and valleys. In this case, the surface was a layer of polypyrrole, and the resistance of the peptide-coated tip to being passed across the surface revealed how well T59 clung to the plastic.

"They had a moderately strong interaction, which is useful to know," Schmidt said, referring to the need for a stable attachment between polypyrrole and biological molecules that T59 would be used to link to.

Schmidt's laboratory intends to study T59 as a linker to other molecules in the future, possibly including vascular endothelial growth factor, which stimulates the growth of new blood vessels. In addition, they will use the bacteriophage analysis approach, called high-throughput combinatorial screening, to look for peptide linkers for other plastics such as polyglycolic acid under study for tissue-repair or tissue-engineering purposes.

"This is a powerful technique that can be used for biomaterials modification," Schmidt said, "and it hasn't really been explored very much until now."


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Source:University of Texas at Austin


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