Biomimetics through aptamers
Aptagel 3D matrix has been conceived to better recreate the natural microenvironment of extracellular matrix, so that physiological cellulr conditions can be more easily reproduced and more significant results can be obtained from research. Most 3D scaffolds for cell culture are made of compounds that offer scant adhesion to cells and require functionalization with adhesion peptides such as Arginine-Glycine-Aspartic acid (RGD). Our strategy is different. A hydrogel scaffold has been decorated with DNA aptamers, invisible to cells, which anchor Fibronectin contained in the serum to the scaffold, thus initiating ECM self assembly. Cells can easily attach to Aptagel 3D matrix because they can easily adhere on the Fibronectin that has been sequestered in the scaffold.