Designing unconventional Fmoc-peptide-based biomaterials: structure and related properties
We have recently employed L-amino acids in the lipase-catalyzed biofabrication of a class of self-assembling Fmoc-peptides that form 3-dimensional nanofiber scaffolds. Here we report that using D-amino acids, the homochiral self-assembling peptide Fmoc-D-Phe3 (Fmoc-F*F*F*) also forms a 3-dimensional nanofiber scaffold that is substantially distinguishable from its L-peptide and heterochiral peptide (F*FF and FF*F*) counterparts on the basis of their physico-chemical properties. Such chiral peptides self-assemble into ordered nanofibers with well defined fibrillar motifs. Circular dichroism and atomic force microscopy have been employed to study in depth such fibrillar peptide structures. Dexamethasone release kinetics from PLGA and CS-PLGA nanoparticles entrapped within the peptidic hydrogel matrix encourage its use for applications in drug controlled release.