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Nat Mater. 2014 Aug;13(8):812-6. doi: 10.1038/nmat3979. Epub 2014 May 25.

Internal dynamics of a supramolecular nanofibre.

Author information

1
Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine, Northwestern University, 303 East Superior Street, Suite 11-131, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.
2
1] Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine, Northwestern University, 303 East Superior Street, Suite 11-131, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA [2] Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, 2220 Campus Drive, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.
3
1] Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine, Northwestern University, 303 East Superior Street, Suite 11-131, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA [2].
4
Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, 2220 Campus Drive, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.
5
1] Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine, Northwestern University, 303 East Superior Street, Suite 11-131, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA [2] Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, 2220 Campus Drive, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA [3] Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, 2220 Campus Drive, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA [4] Department of Medicine, Northwestern University, 251 East Huron Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.

Abstract

A large variety of functional self-assembled supramolecular nanostructures have been reported over recent decades. The experimental approach to these systems initially focused on the design of molecules with specific interactions that lead to discrete geometric structures, and more recently on the kinetics and mechanistic pathways of self-assembly. However, there remains a major gap in our understanding of the internal conformational dynamics of these systems and of the links between their dynamics and function. Molecular dynamics simulations have yielded information on the molecular fluctuations of supramolecular assemblies, yet experimentally it has been difficult to obtain analogous data with subnanometre spatial resolution. Using site-directed spin labelling and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, we measured the conformational dynamics of a self-assembled nanofibre in water through its 6.7 nm cross-section. Our measurements provide unique insight for the design of supramolecular functional materials.

PMID:
24859643
PMCID:
PMC4110180
DOI:
10.1038/nmat3979
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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