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Issue 36, 2013
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Pathway-dependent properties of a multi-stimuli sensitive biosynthetic hybrid network

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Abstract

We study the self-assembly of an asymmetric triblock copolymer consisting of an elastin-like and a silk-like block bridged by a hydrophilic spacer. The elastin-like block aggregates at high temperature, leading to thermo-reversible micellization. The silk-like block self-assembles at low pH, and forms long fibrils, which dissociate again at high pH. The self-assembly of both blocks is strongly enhanced by increasing the salt concentration. When two blocks are sequentially triggered to self-assemble, the reversibility is lost; the final morphology and mechanical properties depend on the pathway that is chosen. A micellar solution formed at high temperature transforms into a gel network of sticky fibrils when the pH is lowered. Heating a solution of fibrils, formed at low pH, leads to the irreversible formation of bundles and large aggregates.

Graphical abstract: Pathway-dependent properties of a multi-stimuli sensitive biosynthetic hybrid network

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Jun 2013, accepted on 25 Jul 2013 and first published on 29 Jul 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM51667A
Soft Matter, 2013,9, 8737-8744

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    Pathway-dependent properties of a multi-stimuli sensitive biosynthetic hybrid network

    T. T. H. Pham, F. A. de Wolf, M. A. Cohen Stuart and J. van der Gucht, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 8737
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM51667A

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