미래를 창조하는 포스텍 화학공학과
Heart failure following myocardial infarction (MI), the primary cause of mortality worldwide, is the consequence of cardiomyocyte death or dysfunction. Clinical efforts involving the delivery of growth factors (GFs) and stem cells with the aim of regenerating cardiomyocytes for the recovery of structural and functional integrity have largely failed to deliver, mainly due to short half-lives and rapid clearance in in vivo environments. In this work, we selected and genetically fused four biofunctional peptides possessing angiogenic potential, originating from extracellular matrix proteins and GFs, to bioengineered mussel adhesive protein (MAP). We found that MAPs fused with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-derived peptide and fibronectin-derived RGD peptide significantly promoted the proliferation and migration of endothelial cells in vitro. Based on these characteristics, we fabricated advanced double-layered adhesive microneedle bandages (DL-AMNBs) consisting of a biofunctional MAP-based root and a regenerated silk fibroin (SF)-based tip, allowing homogeneous distribution of the regenerative factor via swellable microneedles. Our developed DL-AMNB system clearly demonstrated better preservation of cardiac muscle and regenerative effects on heart remodeling in a rat MI model, which might be attributed to the prolonged retention of therapeutic peptides as well as secure adhesion between the patch and host myocardium by MAP-inherent strong underwater adhesiveness.