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Title: Chirality-selected phase behaviour in ionic polypeptide complexes

In this study, polyelectrolyte complexes present new opportunities for self-assembled soft matter. Factors determining whether the phase of the complex is solid or liquid remain unclear. Ionic polypeptides enable examination of the effects of stereochemistry on complex formation. Here we demonstrate that chirality determines the state of polyelectrolyte complexes, formed from mixing dilute solutions of oppositely charged polypeptides, via a combination of electrostatic and hydrogen-bonding interactions. Fluid complexes occur when at least one of the polypeptides in the mixture is racemic, which disrupts backbone hydrogen-bonding networks. Pairs of purely chiral polypeptides, of any sense, form compact, fibrillar solids with a β-sheet structure. Analogous behaviour occurs in micelles formed from polypeptide block copolymers with polyethylene oxide, where assembly into aggregates with either solid or fluid cores, and eventually into ordered phases at high concentrations, is possible. Chirality is an exploitable tool for manipulating material properties in polyelectrolyte complexation.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [4] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States)
  2. Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States); Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  3. Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States); Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
  4. Univ. of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE chemical sciences; condensed matter; materials science; physical chemistry