Peptide amphiphile nanofiber hydrogel delivery of sonic hedgehog protein to the cavernous nerve to promote regeneration and prevent erectile dysfunction

Shawn Choe, Christopher W. Bond, Daniel A. Harrington, Samuel I Stupp, Kevin T. McVary, Carol A. Podlasek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


Erectile dysfunction (ED) has high impact on quality of life in prostatectomy, diabetic and aging patients. An underlying mechanism is cavernous nerve (CN) injury, which causes ED in up to 80% of prostatectomy patients. We examine how sonic hedgehog (SHH) treatment with innovative peptide amphiphile nanofiber hydrogels (PA), promotes CN regeneration after injury. SHH and its receptors patched (PTCH1) and smoothened (SMO) are localized in PG neurons and glia. SMO undergoes anterograde transport to signal to downstream targets. With crush injury, PG neurons degenerate and undergo apoptosis. SHH protein decreases, SMO localization changes to the neuronal cell surface, and anterograde transport stops. With SHH treatment SHH is taken up at the injury site and undergoes retrograde transport to PG neurons, allowing SMO transport to occur, and neurons remain intact. SHH treatment prevents neuronal degeneration, maintains neuronal, glial and downstream target signaling, and is significant as a regenerative therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-101
Number of pages7
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017



  • Cavernous nerve injury (prostatectomy)
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Peptide amphiphile nanofiber hydrogel
  • Regeneration
  • Sonic hedgehog

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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