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Issue 32, 2016
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Amphiphilic block copolymers as flexible membrane materials generating structural and functional mimics of green bacterial antenna complexes

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Abstract

We describe the ability of a short-chain amphiphilic block copolymer to self-assemble to form an artificial supramolecular light-harvesting system. Specifically, we demonstrate that the 2.5 kDa, poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(butadiene) (PEO-b-PBD), exhibits sufficient morphological flexibility as a membrane material and enables generation of mimics of three-dimensional chlorosomes as well as supported membrane bilayers containing energy acceptors. This overall architecture replicates green bacterial light-harvesting function whereby these assemblies exhibit long-range order and three-dimensional morphology similar to native chlorosomes and are capable of energy transfer internally and to external acceptors, located in a supporting biomimetic polymer membrane. Unlike native green bacterial systems that use multiple lipids as a matrix to generate the appropriate environment for chlorosome assembly and function, the described system matrix is comprised entirely of a single polymer amphiphile. This work demonstrates the potential of short-chain amphiphilic block copolymers in generating self-assembled, bio-mimetic membrane architectures, and in doing so, generates scalable, spatial-energetic landscapes for photonic applications. Finally, the results presented provide evidence of minimal requirements to induce chlorosome-like organization and function.

Graphical abstract: Amphiphilic block copolymers as flexible membrane materials generating structural and functional mimics of green bacterial antenna complexes

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Mar 2016, accepted on 26 Jul 2016 and first published on 28 Jul 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6NR02497A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2016,8, 15056-15063
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    Amphiphilic block copolymers as flexible membrane materials generating structural and functional mimics of green bacterial antenna complexes

    A. M. Collins, J. A. Timlin, S. M. Anthony and G. A. Montaño, Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 15056
    DOI: 10.1039/C6NR02497A

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