Hybrid Hydrogels of FKF-Peptide Assemblies and Gelatin for Sustained Antimicrobial Activity

Shahar Dahan, Polina Aibinder, Boris Khalfin, Jacob Moran-Gilad, Hanna Rapaport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The growing resistance of pathogenic bacteria to conventional antibiotics promotes the development of new antimicrobial agents, including peptides. Hydrogels composed of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) may be applied as topical treatments for skin infection and wound regeneration. The unique antimicrobial and ultrashort-peptide FKF (Phe-Lys-Phe) was recently demonstrated to form bactericidal hydrogels. Here, we sought to improve the cyto-biocompatibility of FKF by combining FKF hydrogels with gelatin. Homogeneous hybrid hydrogels of FKF:gelatin were developed based on a series of self-assembly steps that involved mixing solutions of the two components with no covalent cross-linkers. The hydrogels were characterized for their structural features, dissolution, cyto-biocompatibility, and antibacterial properties. These hybrid hydrogels first release the antibacterial FKF assemblies, leaving the gelatinous fraction of the hydrogel to serve as a scaffold for tissue regeneration. Sponges of these hybrid hydrogels, obtained by lyophilization and rehydrated prior to application, exhibited enhanced antimicrobial activity compared to the hydrogels' formulations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)352-362
Number of pages11
JournalACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2022


  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • antimicrobial peptides
  • gelatin
  • hydrogels
  • peptide self-assembly
  • wound-healing

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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