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Hierarchical Self-Assembly of Zwitterionic Dendrimer – Anionic Surfactant Complexes into Multiple Stimuli-Responsive Dynamic Nanotubes

Abstract

Zwitterionic materials attract a wide range of attention due to their unique molecular structure and properties, which makes them an interesting candidate to solve multiple problems e.g. for biological and industrial applications. Here, we show that the incorporation of zwitterions in supramolecular assemblies of ionic building blocks can be an effective way to design responsive nanostructures with well-defined morphologies. We report the hierarchical assembly of stimuli-responsive nanotubes with tunable diameters in aqueous solutions via the selective attachment of anionic surfactants to dendrimers with uniquely engineered zwitterionic peripheries. We found that the packing number of the dendrimer-surfactant hybrids can be reversibly controlled, which will trigger their assembly into tubular-like structures. These tubes can grow up to micro-scale. Their diameter is responsive to the ionic strength of solutions and they can reversibly assemble and disassemble by changing the pH. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of dynamic nanotubes formed through controlled ionic interactions involving zwitterionic dendrimers in solution. This not only provides a bottom-up method to make stimuli responsive and dynamic tubes but also introduce a pathway to design complicated nanostructures by controlling the electrostatic interactions of building blocks using the zwitterionic functionalities

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Oct 2017, accepted on 04 Dec 2017 and first published on 04 Dec 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR07950H
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Hierarchical Self-Assembly of Zwitterionic Dendrimer – Anionic Surfactant Complexes into Multiple Stimuli-Responsive Dynamic Nanotubes

    S. A. Eghtesadi, M. A. Kashfipour, X. Sun, W. Zhang, R. S. Lillard, S. Cheng and T. Liu, Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR07950H

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