Coassembly of C13-Dipeptides: Gelations from Solutions and Precipitations
journal contributionposted on 17.11.2020, 21:44 by Tan Hu, Zhuo Zhang, Stephen Robert Euston, Mengjie Geng, Siyi Pan
C13-dipeptides that did not gel on their own were found to form hydrogels when combined with mixtures (coassembly). At pH = 4.6, by mixing negatively charged C13-WD (C13-WD2– and/or C13-WD–) with C13-KW or C13-YK, where the side chain of K carried positive charge, two composite hydrogels with different mechanical properties were formed. The gels exhibited various fiber structures that would account for their individual functionalities. According to molecular dynamics computer simulations, the composite systems formed spherical micelles through hydrophobic interactions that further aggregate to form gels through electrostatic interactions. The electrostatic repulsions between C13-WD molecules were interfered by insertions of C13-KW or C13-YK molecules, which result in gel formation in the composite systems. The results of computer simulations well explained the experimental observations, which provided new insights into the design and selection strategies for peptide gelators.