The mechanical stimulation of cells in 3D culture within a self-assembling peptide hydrogel

Yusuke Nagai, Hidenori Yokoi, Keiko Kaihara, Keiji Naruse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this present study was to provide a scaffold as a tool for the investigation of the effect of mechanical stimulation on three-dimensionally cultured cells. For this purpose, we developed an artificial self-assembling peptide (SPG-178) hydrogel scaffold. The structural properties of the SPG-178 peptide were confirmed by attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The mechanical properties of the SPG-178 hydrogel were studied using rheology measurements. The SPG-178 peptide was able to form a stable, transparent hydrogel in a neutral pH environment. In the SPG-178 hydrogel, mouse skeletal muscle cells proliferated successfully (increased by 12.4 ± 1.5 times during 8 days of incubation; mean ± SEM). When the scaffold was statically stretched, a rapid phosphorylation of ERK was observed (increased by 2.8 ± 0.2 times; mean ± SEM). These results demonstrated that the developed self-assembling peptide gel is non-cytotoxic and is a suitable tool for the investigation of the effect of mechanical stimulation on three-dimensional cell culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1044-1051
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012



  • Cell proliferation
  • Hydrogel
  • Mechanical strain
  • Scaffold
  • Self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Biophysics

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