Mesoscale Modulation of Supramolecular Ureidopyrimidinone-Based Poly(ethylene glycol) Transient Networks in Water

In natural systems, highly synergistic non-covalent interactions among biomolecular components exert mesoscopic control over hierarchical assemblies. We herein present a multicomponent self-assembly strategy to tune hierarchical supramolecular polymer architectures in water using highly affine and directional ureidopyrimidinone-poly­(ethylene glycol)­s (UPy-PEG). Using scattering methods and oscillatory rheology, we observe the structural and mechanical regulation of entangled monofunctional UPy-PEG fibrils by cross-linking bifunctional UPy-PEG fibrils. This supramolecular mixing approach opens the door to a range of subtly distinct materials for chemical and biological applications.