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Nanoscale Biomimetics: Fabrication and Optimization of Stability of Peptide-Based Thin Films

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The method of thin film preparation known as layer-by-layer assembly is of growing interest for current and envisioned developments in bionanotechnology. Here, cysteine-containing 32mer peptides have been designed, synthesized, purified, and used to prepare polypeptide films. A range of methods—quartz crystal microbalance, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, circular dichroism spectroscopy, and high-performance liquid chromatography—have been used to probe the effect of ionic strength and polymer secondary structure in solution on peptide self-assembly, and on secondary structure formation and disulfide bond cross-linking in the multilayer film. The amount of designed peptide deposited per adsorption step of film fabrication increased with increasing ionic strength, as with conventional polyelectrolytes. Secondary structure content changed from random coil to β sheet on incorporation of peptides into a film. "Peptide-inherent" cross-linking by disulfide bond formation increased film stability at acidic pH. Conditions for disulfide stabilization have been optimized. The results contribute to exploration of the physical basis of peptide self-assembly broaden the scope of applications of layer-by-layer assembly, particularly where biocompatibility and stability are key design concerns, and provide a basis for mass production of custom polypeptide thin films of high stability, even in harsh environments.
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Keywords: CROSSLINKING; CYSTEINE; DISULFIDE BOND; LAYER-BY-LAYER ASSEMBLY; MULTILAYER THIN FILM; NANOMATERIALS; POLYPEPTIDE; SECONDARY STRUCTURE; SELF-ASSEMBLY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-12-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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