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Zinc-Triggered Hierarchical Self-Assembly of Fibrous Helix–Loop–Helix Peptide Superstructures for Controlled Encapsulation and Release
- Aronsson, Christopher, Selegård, Robert, Aili, Daniel
- Macromolecules 2016 v.49 no.18 pp. 6997-7003
- drugs, encapsulation, nanoparticles, zinc
- We demonstrate a novel route for hierarchical self-assembly of sub-micrometer-sized peptide superstructures that respond to subtle changes in Zn²⁺ concentration. The self-assembly process is triggered by a specific folding-dependent coordination of Zn²⁺ by a de novo designed nonlinear helix–loop–helix peptide, resulting in a propagating fiber formation and formation of spherical superstructures. The superstructures further form larger assemblies that can be completely disassembled upon removal of Zn²⁺ or degradation of the nonlinear peptide. This flexible and reversible assembly strategy of the superstructures enables facile encapsulation of nanoparticles and drugs that can be released by means of different stimuli.