Tuning the pH-triggered self-assembly of dendritic peptide amphiphiles using fluorinated side chains†
We report the synthesis of a series of anionic dendritic peptide amphiphiles of increasing hydrophobic character. By establishing state diagrams we describe their pH and ionic strength triggered self-assembly into supramolecular nanorods in water and highlight the impact of hydrophobic shielding in the supramolecular polymerisation process. Via the incorporation of fluorinated peptide side chains the pH-triggered monomer to polymer transition at physiological ionic strength is shifted from pH 5.0 to pH 7.4. We thereby show that compensating attractive non-covalent interactions and hydrophobic effects with repulsive electrostatic forces, a concept we refer to as frustrated growth, is a sensitive tool in order to manipulate one-dimensional supramolecular polymerisation processes in water.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Supramolecular Chemistry in Water