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Soft Matter. 2015 Jun 21;11(23):4621-9. doi: 10.1039/c5sm00732a.

Folic acid-polydopamine nanofibers show enhanced ordered-stacking via π-π interactions.

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Department of Chemistry, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, P. R. China.


Recent research has indicated that polydopamine and synthetic eumelanins are optoelectronic biomaterials in which one-dimensional aggregates composed of ordered-stacking oligomers have been proposed as unique organic semiconductors. However, improving the ordered-stacking of oligomers in polydopamine nanostructures is a big challenge. Herein, we first demonstrate how folic acid molecules influence the morphology and nanostructure of polydopamine via tuning the π-π interactions of oligomers. MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry reveals that porphyrin-like tetramers are characteristic of folic acid-polydopamine (FA-PDA) nanofibers. X-ray diffraction combined with simulation studies indicate that these oligomers favour aggregation into graphite-like ordered nanostructures via strong π-π interactions. High-resolution TEM characterization of carbonized FA-PDA hybrids show that in FA-PDA nanofibers the size of the graphite-like domains is over 100 nm. The addition of folic acid in polydopamine enhances the ordered stacking of oligomers in its nanostructure. Our study steps forward to discover the mystery of the structure-property relationship of FA-PDA hybrids. It paves a way to optimize the properties of PDA through the design and selection of oligomer structures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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