Development of Optimized Tissue-Factor-Targeted Peptide Amphiphile Nanofibers to Slow Noncompressible Torso Hemorrhage

Mia K. Klein, Hussein Aziz Kassam, Robert H. Lee, Wolfgang Bergmeier, Erica B. Peters, David C. Gillis, Brooke R. Dandurand, Jessica R. Rouan, Mark R. Karver, Mark D. Struble, Tristan D. Clemons, Liam C. Palmer, Brian Gavitt, Timothy A. Pritts, Nick D. Tsihlis, Samuel I. Stupp, Melina R. Kibbe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Noncompressible torso hemorrhage accounts for a significant portion of preventable trauma deaths. We report here on the development of injectable, targeted supramolecular nanotherapeutics based on peptide amphiphile (PA) molecules that are designed to target tissue factor (TF) and, therefore, selectively localize to sites of injury to slow hemorrhage. Eight TF-targeting sequences were identified, synthesized into PA molecules, coassembled with nontargeted backbone PA at various weight percentages, and characterized via circular dichroism spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray scattering. Following intravenous injection in a rat liver hemorrhage model, two of these PA nanofiber coassemblies exhibited the most specific localization to the site of injury compared to controls (p < 0.05), as quantified using immunofluorescence imaging of injured liver and uninjured organs. To determine if the nanofibers were targeting TF in vivo, a mouse saphenous vein laser injury model was performed and showed that TF-targeted nanofibers colocalized with fibrin, demonstrating increased levels of nanofiber at TF-rich sites. Thromboelastograms obtained using samples of heparinized rat whole blood containing TF demonstrated that no clots were formed in the absence of TF-targeted nanofibers. Lastly, both PA nanofiber coassemblies decreased blood loss in comparison to sham and backbone nanofiber controls by 35-59% (p < 0.05). These data demonstrate an optimal TF-targeted nanofiber that localizes selectively to sites of injury and TF exposure, and, interestingly, reduces blood loss. This research represents a promising initial phase in the development of a TF-targeted injectable therapeutic to reduce preventable deaths from hemorrhage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6649-6662
Number of pages14
JournalACS nano
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 23 2020


  • battlefield intervention
  • hemorrhage
  • nanofibers
  • noncompressible torso hemorrhage
  • preventable deaths
  • targeted therapeutic
  • tissue factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Materials Science


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