The design, formulation, and immunological evaluation of self-assembling peptide materials is relatively straightforward. Indeed, one of the advantages of synthetic self-assembling peptides is that one can progress from initial concept to in vivo testing in a matter of days. However, because these materials are supramolecular, working with them is not without some practical challenges, and subtle changes in design, synthesis, handling, and formulation can affect the materials’ immunogenicity. This chapter is intended to communicate some of these practical aspects of working with these materials that are not always enumerated in conventional research papers. Epitope considerations, peptide synthesis, purification, storage, nanofiber formation, quality control, immunological evaluation, and the overall phenotypic characteristics of the immune responses to be expected from these materials are discussed.
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Work in our group on immunologically active self-assembled materials has been funded by the National Institutes of Health: The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) under grant number 1R01EB009701, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) under grant number 1R01AI118182, and the National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) under grant number R21AR066244. The contents of this article are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of these agencies. None of the authors have financial conflicts of interest to disclose.
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