• Biocatalytic Amide Condensation and Gelation Controlled by Light

      Sahoo, J.K.; Nalluri, S.K.M.; Javid, Nadeem; Webb, H.; Ulijn, R.V. (2014-03-25)
      We report on a supramolecular self-assembly system that displays coupled light switching, biocatalytic condensation/hydrolysis and gelation. The equilibrium state of this system can be regulated by light, favouring in situ formation, by protease catalysed peptide synthesis, of self-assembling trans-Azo-YF-NH2 in ambient light; however, irradiation with UV light gives rise to the cis-isomer, which readily hydrolyzes to its amino acid derivatives (cis-Azo-Y + F-NH2) with consequent gel dissolution.
    • Biocatalytic Self-Assembly of Supramolecular Charge Transfer Nanostructures Based on n-Type Semiconductor-Appended Peptide

      Nalluri, S.K.M.; Berdugo, C.; Javid, Nadeem; Frederix, P.W.J.M.; Ulijn, R.V. (2014-05-30)
      The reversible in situ formation of a self-assembly building block (naphthalenediimide (NDI)–dipeptide conjugate) by enzymatic condensation of NDI-functionalized tyrosine (NDI-Y) and phenylalanine-amide (F-NH2) to form NDI-YF-NH2 is described. This coupled biocatalytic condensation/assembly approach is thermodynamically driven and gives rise to nanostructures with optimized supramolecular interactions as evidenced by substantial aggregation induced emission upon assembly. Furthermore, in the presence of di-hydroxy/alkoxy naphthalene donors, efficient charge-transfer complexes are produced. The dynamic formation of NDI-YF-NH2 and electronic and H-bonding interactions are analyzed and characterized by different methods. Microscopy (TEM and AFM) and rheology are used to characterize the formed nanostructures. Dynamic nanostructures, whose formation and function are driven by free-energy minimization, are inherently self-healing and provide opportunities for the development of aqueous adaptive nanotechnology.
    • Dynamic Peptide Library for the Discovery of Charge Transfer Hydrogels

      Berdugo, C.; Nalluri, S.K.M.; Javid, Nadeem; Escuder, B.; Miravet, J.F.; Ulijn, R.V. (2015-11-25)
      Coupling of peptide self-assembly to dynamic sequence exchange provides a useful approach for the discovery of self-assembling materials. In here, we demonstrate the discovery and optimization of aqueous, gel-phase nanostructures based on dynamically exchanging peptide sequences that self-select to maximize charge transfer of n-type semiconducting naphthalenediimide (NDI)-dipeptide bioconjugates with various π-electron-rich donors (dialkoxy/hydroxy/amino-naphthalene or pyrene derivatives). These gel-phase peptide libraries are characterized by spectroscopy (UV–vis and fluorescence), microscopy (TEM), HPLC, and oscillatory rheology and it is found that, of the various peptide sequences explored (tyrosine Y-NDI with tyrosine Y, phenylalanine F, leucine L, valine V, alanine A or glycine G-NH2), the optimum sequence is tyrosine-phenylalanine in each case; however, both its absolute and relative yield amplification is dictated by the properties of the donor component, indicating cooperativity of peptide sequence and donor/acceptor pairs in assembly. The methodology provides an in situ discovery tool for nanostructures that enable dynamic interfacing of supramolecular electronics with aqueous (biological) systems.