Self Assembling Peptide for Activating Human Mast Cells


Researchers at the University of Alberta have developed a novel biomaterial that can activate the body’s own innate immune response and accelerate the wound healing process. This technology may suitably be used as a wound dressing to fight local infections without the use of antibiotics. The biomaterial is able to stimulate human mast cells and provides a mechanism for localized release of mast cell granules containing various cellular mediators; such mediators are critical for processes such as the host defense against pathogens, wound healing, and angiogenesis.

This technology utilizes the self-assembling peptide (RADA)4, to form well-ordered nanofibers that subsequently develop into a highly hydrated 3D hydrogel matrix. This matrix can be modified to present bioactive moieties that can induce a variety of therapeutic functions; in this case, the matrix has been coupled to the PAMP-12 peptide, which interacts with its cellular receptor on mast cells and can activate them in a dose-dependent manner. Activation of mast cells is an important component of the innate immune system involved in wound repair. The activation of mast cells is controllable by varying the amount of the PAMP-12 peptide tethered to the hydrogel matrix and activation was limited to only mast cells in direct contact with the matrix. Compared to systemic administration, the localized administration of a bioactive peptide at the site of interest can result in reduced side-effects, a greater therapeutic outcome, while using a lower overall amount of the peptide drug.

 Published in ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2018, 10 (7), pp 6107–6117 DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b14560

Potential Markets

We are seeking partnerships with pharmaceutical companies for collaborative development and/or licensing of the technology.

Protection Status

Patent Pending

Product Number


Contact Information

Quang Tran
Technology Management Group
TEC Edmonton – University of Alberta
Phone: 780-492-6254