Stable micelles based on a mixture of coiled-coils: the role of different oligomeric states

D Ma and S Keten, NANOSCALE, 10, 7589-7596 (2018).

DOI: 10.1039/c7nr09695j

Homomeric micelles with tunable size, shape and stability have been extensively studied for biomedical applications such as drug carriers. However, designing the local valency and self-assembled morphology of nanophase-separated multicomponent micelles with varied ligand binding possibilities remains challenging. Here, we present micelles self- assembled from amphiphilic peptide-PEG-lipid hybrid conjugates, where the peptides can be either a 3-helix or 4-helix coiled-coil. We demonstrate that the micelle size and sphericity can be controlled based on the coiled-coil oligomeric state. Using theory and coarse-grained dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulations in an explicit solvent simulation, we studied the distribution of 3-helix and 4-helix conjugates within the mixed micelles and observed self-organization into nanodomains within the mixed micelle. We discovered that the phase separation behavior is dictated by the geometry mismatch in the alkyl chain length from different coiled-coil oligomeric states. Our analyses of the self-assembly tendency and drug delivery potency of mixed micelles with controlled multivalency provide important insights into the assembly and formation of nanophase-separated micelles.

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