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Self-Assembly of Short Elastin-like Amphiphilic Peptides: Effects of Temperature, Molecular Hydrophobicity and Charge Distribution
Article

Engineering Peptide-Based Polyelectrolyte Complexes with Increased Hydrophobicity

by 1 and 1,2,*
1
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
2
NanoScience Technology Center, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32826, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: He Dong
Molecules 2019, 24(5), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24050868
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 26 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Self-Assembled Peptides)
Polyelectrolyte complexation is a versatile platform for the design of self-assembled materials. Here we use rational design to create ionic hydrophobically-patterned peptides that allow us to precisely explore the role of hydrophobicity on electrostatic self-assembly. Polycations and polyanions were designed and synthesized with an alternating sequence of d- and l-chiral patterns of lysine or glutamic acid with either glycine, alanine or leucine due to their increasing hydrophobicity index, respectively. Two motifs were considered for the oppositely charged patterned peptides; one with equal residues of charged and uncharged amino acids and the other with increased charge density. Mass spectroscopy, circular dichroism, H- and F-NMR spectroscopy were used to characterize the polypeptides. Polyelectrolyte complexes (PECs) formed using the sequences were characterized using turbidity measurements, optical microscopy and infrared spectroscopy. Our results show that the critical salt concentration, a key measure of PEC stability, increased with both increasing charge density as well as hydrophobicity. Furthermore, by increasing the hydrophobicity, the amount of PEC formed increased with temperature, contrary to purely ionic PECs. Lastly, we assessed the encapsulation behavior of these materials using a hydrophobic dye. Concluding that encapsulation efficiency increased with hydrophobic content of the complexes providing insight for future work on the application of these materials for drug delivery. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyelectrolyte complexes; coacervates; hydrophobicity; encapsulation; polypeptides; self-assembly; chirality polyelectrolyte complexes; coacervates; hydrophobicity; encapsulation; polypeptides; self-assembly; chirality
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tabandeh, S.; Leon, L. Engineering Peptide-Based Polyelectrolyte Complexes with Increased Hydrophobicity. Molecules 2019, 24, 868. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24050868

AMA Style

Tabandeh S, Leon L. Engineering Peptide-Based Polyelectrolyte Complexes with Increased Hydrophobicity. Molecules. 2019; 24(5):868. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24050868

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tabandeh, Sara, and Lorraine Leon. 2019. "Engineering Peptide-Based Polyelectrolyte Complexes with Increased Hydrophobicity" Molecules 24, no. 5: 868. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24050868

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