Tunable synthesis of self-assembled cyclic peptide nanotubes and nanoparticles†
While tremendous efforts have been made in investigating scalable approaches for fabricating nanoparticles, less progress has been made in scalable synthesis of cyclic peptide nanoparticles and nanotubes, despite their great potential for broader biomedical applications. In this paper, tunable synthesis of self-assembled cyclic peptide nanotubes and nanoparticles using three different methods, phase equilibrium, pH-driven, and pH-sensitive methods, were proposed and investigated. The goal is scalable nanomanufacturing of cyclic peptide nanoparticles and nanotubes with different sizes in large quality by controlling multiple process parameters. Cyclo-(L-Gln-D-Ala-L-Glu-D-Ala-)2 was applied to illustrate the proposed ideas. In the study, mass spectrometry and high performance liquid chromatography were employed to verify the chemical structures and purity of the cyclic peptides. Morphology and size of the synthesized nanomaterials were characterized using atomic force microscopy and dynamic light scattering. The dimensions of the self-assembled nanostructures were found to be strongly influenced by the cyclic peptide concentration, side chain modification, pH values, reaction time, stirring intensity, and sonication time. This paper proposed an overall strategy to integrate all the parameters to achieve optimal synthesis outputs. Mechanisms of the self-assembly of the cyclic peptide nanotubes and nanoparticles under variable conditions and tunable parameters were discussed. This study contributes to scalable nanomanufacturing of cyclic peptide based self-assembled nanoparticles and nanotubes for broader biomedical applications.