Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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CompositeScaffoldStimuli-induced releaseTechShareDay-d3w1TechShareDay-d3w2Wound healing


The recombinant expression of novel biopolymers named HELP (HUMAN ELASTIN-LIKE POLYPEPTIDES) can be achieved from the design and cloning of synthetic genes. This system can be customized by the fusion of bioactive domains of interest, thus adding new functionality to the construct. Composites can be obtained embedding a scaffold within the HELP-based hydrogel. The presence of elastolytic activity triggers the HELP degradation releasing a bioactive domain.

Technical features

HELP macromolecules and the derived materials like HELP fusion proteins represent an innovative material to obtain the release of bioactive peptidic compounds when in the presence of elastolytic activity. Thus, the system represents a key platform for specific controlled release of therapeutics that are embedded in the macromolecule itself. These macromolecules and the derived hydrogel are particularly suitable to be combined with other biomaterials to confer the stimuliinduced release property to the whole new composite. This HELP platform thus posesses a high potential for realization of advanced medication devices usable as smart wound dressings for controlled drug delivery.

Possible Applications

  • Production of innovative medical devices to treat skin injuries;
  • Producton of new diagnostic tools related to the presence of elastolytic activity (for example, the inflammation context);
  • Development of materials with antimicrobial and/or antimycotic properties;
  • Development of protein-based biosensors.


  • New composites can be easily obtained exploiting the cross-linking process;
  • The matrix is selectively degraded in the presence of elastolytic activity allowing the release of bioactive components;
  • Ready customization by the fusion of bioactive domains of interest, by addition of any desired functionality to the final construct.