Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is the growth factor responsible for the triggering of angiogenesis, the process of blood vessel formation supporting the long-term viability of any repaired or regenerated tissue. As the growth factor is effective only when concentration gradients are generated, new shuttles need to be developed that ensure both the control of gradients at the site of tissue repair and the release of VEGF at physiological levels. Magnetic hyperthermia is the production of heat induced by magnetic materials through their exposure to an external oscillating magnetic field. In this paper, magnetic nanoparticles capable of generating controllable hyperthermia were functionalised with hyperbranched poly(epsilon-lysine) peptides integrating in their core parallel thermoresponsive elastin-like peptide sequences and presenting an uppermost branching generation tethered by the zwitterionic amino acid carboxybetaine. The results show that these functionalised magnetic nanoparticles avidly bind VEGF and release it only upon generation of mild-hyperthermic pulses generated by oscillating magnetic filed. The VEGF release occurred in a temperature range at which the elastin-like peptides collapse. It is proposed that, through the application of an external magnetic field, these magnetic carriers could generated gradients of VEGF in vivo and allow its tuned delivery in a number of clinical applications.
Bibliographical noteUnder a Creative Commons license
- Magnetic carriers
- Mild hyperthermia