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Open Access research which pushes advances in bionanotechnology

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS) , based within the Faculty of Science.

SIPBS is a major research centre in Scotland focusing on 'new medicines', 'better medicines' and 'better use of medicines'. This includes the exploration of nanoparticles and nanomedicines within the wider research agenda of bionanotechnology, in which the tools of nanotechnology are applied to solve biological problems. At SIPBS multidisciplinary approaches are also pursued to improve bioscience understanding of novel therapeutic targets with the aim of developing therapeutic interventions and the investigation, development and manufacture of drug substances and products.

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Sequence/structure relationships in aromatic dipeptide hydrogels formed under thermodynamic control by enzyme-assisted self-assembly

Hughes, Meghan and Frederix, Pim W. J. M. and Raeburn, Jaclyn and Birchall, Louise S. and Sadownik, Jan and Coomer, Fiona C. and Lin, I-Hsin and Cussen, Edmund J. and Hunt, Neil T. and Tuttle, Tell and Webb, Simon J. and Adams, Dave J. and Ulijn, Rein V. (2012) Sequence/structure relationships in aromatic dipeptide hydrogels formed under thermodynamic control by enzyme-assisted self-assembly. Soft Matter, 8 (20). pp. 5595-5602. ISSN 1744-6848

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Self-assembled supramolecular structures of peptide derivatives often reflect a kinetically trapped state rather than the thermodynamically most favoured structure, which presents a challenge when trying to elucidate the molecular design rules for these systems. In this article we use thermodynamically controlled self-assembly, driven by enzymatic condensation of amino acid derivatives, to elucidate chemical composition/nanostructure relationships for four closely related Fmoc-dipeptide-methyl esters which form hydrogels; SF, SL, TF and TL. We demonstrate that each of the four systems self-assemble to form extended arrays of beta-sheets which interlock via pi-stacking of Fmoc-moieties, yet with subtle differences in molecular organisation as supported by rheology, fluorescence emission spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction analysis and molecular mechanics minimisation.