Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)

Stimuli-responsive peptide nanostructures at the fluid-fluid interface.

PMID 23504424


The self-organization of peptide-based nanostructures at a confined fluid-fluid interface, for example, the air-water or oil-water interface, is important in the context of stabilizing macroscopic soft-matter foams and emulsions. The unique ability to design interfacial nanostructures by controlling the subtle cooperativity that drives peptide self-assembly, and the ability to switch molecular cooperativity by facile triggers such as pH, opens new vistas for controlling macroscopic soft matter in industries as diverse as healthcare and industrial processing. Here we describe research aimed at developing new understanding into soft-matter formation and control, through variation of peptide sequence and bulk conditions. Macroscopic foaming and microfluidic emulsification studies prove particularly useful in visualizing and hence understanding the synergistic link between molecular design, mesoscopic interfacial properties, and bulk soft-matter stability.