Nanospheres from the self-assembly of an elastin-inspired triblock peptide†
Peptide-based biomaterials are gaining increasing interest as biomaterials for tissue engineering as well as drug delivery systems. Many studies were conducted on amphiphilic or surfactant peptides, showing the great plethora of nanostructures that they can form, according to sequence and experimental conditions. In our work we were interested in the effect of secondary structure propensity of the peptide on the self-assembling properties. A designed peptide, having a conformation-based three-block structure, was able to form nanospheres of 100–400 nm diameter. The molecular and supramolecular structure was investigated by several biophysical techniques and highlights the important role of conformational flexibility and π–π stacking in the self-assembly of the peptide.