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Issue 14, 2012
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Morphological transformations in a dually thermoresponsive coil–rod–coil bioconjugate

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We report the conformational and assembly behavior of a thermoresponsive triblock biohybrid conjugate under aqueous conditions. The triblock comprises of poly(diethylene glycol methyl ether methacrylate) (PDEGMEMA) conjugated to the ends of a triple-helix forming collagen-like peptide. The circular dichroism (CD) experiment confirms the ability of the collagen-like peptide middle block to assemble as a triple helix in the hybrid conjugate. Above the LCST (∼35 °C), the collapse of the thermoresponsive PDEGMEMA polymer at the ends of the peptide domain resulted in a concomitant increase in the conformational stability of the peptide domain towards thermal denaturation. Upon cooling back, the kinetic conformational refolding behavior was still observed for the peptide domain in the hybrid conjugate. Static light scattering (SLS) experiments suggested the formation of supramolecular structures upon increasing solution temperatures to above the LCST. The scattering intensity increased with increasing temperature, until at 75 °C then it was found to decrease. Cryogenic scanning electron microscopy and regular transmission electron microscopy suggested the formation of spherical aggregates that increased in size with increasing temperature up to 65 °C and a morphological transformation into fibrils was also observed at 75 °C. The synergistic effect of dual thermoresponsive behavior from the peptide and the polymer block in the triblock hybrid is suggested for the observed conformational and assembly behaviors.

Graphical abstract: Morphological transformations in a dually thermoresponsive coil–rod–coil bioconjugate

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Supplementary files

Article information

23 Oct 2011
05 Jan 2012
First published
24 Feb 2012

Soft Matter, 2012,8, 3832-3840
Article type

Morphological transformations in a dually thermoresponsive coil–rod–coil bioconjugate

O. D. Krishna, K. T. Wiss, T. Luo, D. J. Pochan, P. Theato and K. L. Kiick, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 3832
DOI: 10.1039/C2SM07025A

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