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Journal of the American Chemical Society

Microtubes with rectangular cross-section by self-assembly of a short β-peptide foldamer.


PMID 23215019

Abstract

In nature, complex and well-defined structures are constructed by the self-assembly of biomolecules. It has been shown that β-peptide foldamers can mimic natural peptides and self-assemble into three-dimensional molecular architectures thanks to their rigid and predictable helical conformation in solution. Using shorter foldamers, which can be prepared more easily than longer ones, to form such architectures is highly desirable, but shorter foldamers have been overlooked due to the seemingly inferior number of intramolecular hydrogen bonds to stabilize a folded state in solution. Here we report that a β-peptide tetramer, although it lacks full helical propensity in solution, does self-assemble to form well-defined microtubes with rectangular cross-section by evaporation-induced self-assembly.

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