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Nat Commun. 2016 Oct 25;7:13190. doi: 10.1038/ncomms13190.

Dynamic microfluidic control of supramolecular peptide self-assembly.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel.
2
Department of Biochemistry, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland.
3
Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK.
4
Department of Oral Biology, The Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel.
5
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel.

Abstract

The dynamic nature of supramolecular polymers has a key role in their organization. Yet, the manipulation of their dimensions and polarity remains a challenge. Here, the minimalistic diphenylalanine building block was applied to demonstrate control of nano-assemblies growth and shrinkage using microfluidics. To fine-tune differential local environments, peptide nanotubes were confined by micron-scale pillars and subjected to monomer flows of various saturation levels to control assembly and disassembly. The small-volume device allows the rapid adjustment of conditions within the system. A simplified kinetic model was applied to calculate parameters of the growth mechanism. Direct real-time microscopy analysis revealed that different peptide derivatives show unidirectional or bidirectional axial dimension variation. Atomistic simulations show that unidirectional growth is dictated by the differences in the axial ends, as observed in the crystalline order of symmetry. This work lays foundations for the rational control of nano-materials dimensions for applications in biomedicine and material science.

PMID:
27779182
PMCID:
PMC5093325
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms13190
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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