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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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Reversible electroaddressing of self-assembling amino-acid conjugates

Liu, Y. and Kim, E. and Ulijn, R. V. and Bentley, W. E. and Payne, Gregory F (2011) Reversible electroaddressing of self-assembling amino-acid conjugates. Advanced Functional Materials, 21 (9). pp. 1575-1580. ISSN 1616-301X

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The triggered assembly of organic and biological materials in response to imposed electrical signals (i.e., electroaddressing) provides interesting opportunities for applications in molecular electronics, biosensing and nano-biotechnology. Recent studies have shown that the conjugation of aromatic moieties to short peptides often yields hydrogelator compounds that can be triggered to self-assemble over a hierarchy of length scales in response to a reduction in pH. Here, we examined the capabilities of fl uorenyl-9-methoxycarbonyl- phenylalanine (Fmoc-Phe) to electrodeposit in response to an electrochemically-induced pH gradient generated at the anode surface. We report that the electrodeposition of Fmoc-Phe; is rapid (minutes), can be spatially controlled in normal and lateral directions, and can be reversed by applying a brief cathodic current. Further more, we show that Fmoc-Phe can be simultaneously deposited on one electrode address (anode) while it is being cathodically stripped from a separate electrode address of the same chip. Finally, we demonstrate that these capabilities can be extended for electroaddressing within microfl uidic channels. The reversible assembly/disassembly of molecular gelators (Fmoc-amino acids and Fmoc-peptides) in response to spatiotemporally imposed electrical signals offers unique opportunities for electroaddressing that should be especially valuable for lab-on-a-chip applications.