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Nat Commun. 2016 May 19;7:11561. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11561.

Super-resolution microscopy reveals structural diversity in molecular exchange among peptide amphiphile nanofibres.

Author information

1
Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology (SQI), Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.
2
Laboratory of Macromolecular and Organic Chemistry and Institute for Complex Molecular Systems, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven MB 5600, The Netherlands.
3
Craniofacial Development &Stem Cell Biology, King's College London, London, SE1 9RT, UK.
4
Nanoscopy for Nanomedicine Group, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), Barcelona 08028, Spain.
5
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.
6
Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.
7
Department of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.
8
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.

Abstract

The dynamic behaviour of supramolecular systems is an important dimension of their potential functions. Here, we report on the use of stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy to study the molecular exchange of peptide amphiphile nanofibres, supramolecular systems known to have important biomedical functions. Solutions of nanofibres labelled with different dyes (Cy3 and Cy5) were mixed, and the distribution of dyes inserting into initially single-colour nanofibres was quantified using correlative image analysis. Our observations are consistent with an exchange mechanism involving monomers or small clusters of molecules inserting randomly into a fibre. Different exchange rates are observed within the same fibre, suggesting that local cohesive structures exist on the basis of β-sheet discontinuous domains. The results reported here show that peptide amphiphile supramolecular systems can be dynamic and that their intermolecular interactions affect exchange patterns. This information can be used to generate useful aggregate morphologies for improved biomedical function.

PMID:
27194204
PMCID:
PMC4874009
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms11561
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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