ATP-triggered biomimetic deformations of bioinspired receptor-containing polymer assemblies†
Designing synthetic polymer assemblies that can sense a biological signal to mimic cell activities is elusive. We develop a class of block copolymer containing bioinspired host units as supramolecular catchers for the highly-selective capture of adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP). Driven by ATP, these block copolymers undergo a stepwise self-assembly and exhibit cascading deformation into highly-ordered nanostructures via the specific recognition effect between ATP and the receptor. By modulating the ATP concentration, one can precisely control the biomimetic evolution of these assemblies in diverse dimensionalities and geometries, like certain organellar deformations. Moreover, the ATP/polymer hybrid aggregates can be reversibly disassembled in response to phosphatase. The special ability of the artificial assemblies to sense intracellular bioactivators can offer new insight into bio-responsive nanomaterials for cellular applications.