Self-organizing bioinspired oligothiophene-oligopeptide hybrids

AK Shaytan and EK Schillinger and E Mena-Osteritz and S Schmid and PG Khalatur and P Bauerle and AR Khokhlov, BEILSTEIN JOURNAL OF NANOTECHNOLOGY, 2, 525-544 (2011).

DOI: 10.3762/bjnano.2.57

In this minireview, we survey recent advances in the synthesis, characterization, and modeling of new oligothiophene-oligopeptide hybrids capable of forming nanostructured fibrillar aggregates in solution and on solid substrates. Compounds of this class are promising for applications because their self-assembly and stimuli-responsive properties, provided by the peptide moieties combined with the semiconducting properties of the thiophene blocks, can result in novel opportunities for the design of advanced smart materials. These bio- inspired molecular hybrids are experimentally shown to form stable fibrils as visualized by AFM and TEM. While the experimental evidence alone is not sufficient to reveal the exact molecular organization of the fibrils, theoretical approaches based on quantum chemistry calculations and large-scale atomistic molecular dynamics simulations are attempted in an effort to reveal the structure of the fibrils at the nanoscale. Based on the combined theoretical and experimental analysis, the most likely models of fibril formation and aggregation are suggested.

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