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Self-Assembled Arginine-Capped Peptide Bolaamphiphile Nanosheets for Cell Culture and Controlled Wettability Surfaces

Lookup NU author(s): Merlin Walter, Professor Che ConnonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The spontaneous assembly of a peptide bolaamphiphile in water, namely, RFL4FR (R, arginine; F, phenylalanine; L, leucine) is investigated, along with its novel properties in surface modification and usage as substrates for cell culture. RFL4FR self-assembles into nanosheets through lateral association of the peptide backbone. The L4 sequence is located within the core of the nanosheets, whereas the R moieties are exposed to the water at the surface of the nanosheets. Kinetic assays indicate that the self-assembly is driven by a remarkable two-step process, where a nucleation phase is followed by fast growth of nanosheets with an autocatalysis process. The internal structure of the nanosheets is formed from ultrathin bolaamphiphile monolayers with a crystalline orthorhombic symmetry with cross-β organization. We show that human corneal stromal fibroblast (hCSF) cells can grow on polystyrene films coated with films dried from RFL4FR solutions. For the first time, this type of amphiphilic peptide is used as a substrate to modulate the wettability of solid surfaces for cell culture applications.

Publication metadata

Author(s): da Silva ER, Walter MNM, Reza M, Castelletto V, Ruokolainen J, Connon CJ, Alves WA, Hamley IW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biomacromolecules

Year: 2015

Volume: 16

Issue: 10

Pages: 3180-3190

Print publication date: 12/10/2015

Online publication date: 08/09/2015

Acceptance date: 03/09/2015

Date deposited: 22/09/2015

ISSN (print): 1525-7797

ISSN (electronic): 1526-4602

Publisher: American Chemical Society


DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.5b00820


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Funder referenceFunder name
EP/L020599/1EPSRC Platform Grant "Nanostructured Polymeric Materials for Healthcare"
proposal MX1666ESRF
proposal SM10083-1Diamond Light Source
Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award