Kinetically controlled coassembly of multichromophoric peptide hydrogelators and the impacts on energy transport

Herdeline Ardona, Emily Draper, Matthew Wallace, Francesca Citossi, Louise Serpell, Dave J. Adams, John D. Tovar

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97 Citations (Scopus)
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We report a peptide-based multichromophoric hydrogelator system, wherein π-electron units with different inherent spectral energies are spatially controlled within peptidic 1-D nanostructures to create localized energy gradients in aqueous environments. This is accomplished by mixing different π-conjugated peptides prior to initiating self-assembly through solution acidification. We can vary the kinetics of the assembly and the degree of self-sorting through the choice of the assembly trigger, which changes the kinetics of acidification. The hydrolysis of glucono-'lactone (GdL) provides a slow pH drop that allows for stepwise triggering of peptide components into essentially self-sorted nanostructures based on subtle pKa differences, whereas HCl addition leads to a rapid formation of mixed components within a nanostructure. Using 1H NMR spectroscopy and fiber X-ray diffraction, we determine the conditions and peptide mixtures that favor self-sorting or intimate comixing. Photophysical investigations in the solution phase provide insight into the correlation of energy-transport processes occurring within the assemblies to the structural organization of the π-systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8685-8692
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number25
Early online date16 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2017


  • Nanostructures
  • Supramolecular structures and assemblies
  • Peptides and proteins
  • Absorption
  • Hydrogels

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