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Peptoid Nanosheets at the Oil-Water Interface
Users of the Molecular Foundry have developed peptoid nanosheets – two-dimensional biomimetic materials with customizable properties – that self-assemble at an oil-water interface.
Significance and Impact
This new development enables additional structural complexity and chemical functionality for a broad range of applications, including improved chemical sensors and separators, and safer, more effective drug delivery vehicles.
- Peptoids are synthetic versions of proteins. Like their natural counterparts, peptoids fold and twist into distinct conformations that enable them to carry out a variety of specific functions.
- The interface where supramolecular assembly takes place influences how peptoid chains pre-organize and helps facilitate their self-interaction.
- The use of oil creates a raft of new opportunities for the engineering and production of peptoid nanosheets. The oil phase could contain chemical reagents, serve to minimize evaporation of the aqueous phase, or enable microfluidic production and screening.
E. J. Robertson, G. K. Oliver, M. Qianb, C. Proulx, R. N. Zuckermann & G. L. Richmond. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2014 [epub].