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Title: Water Ordering Controls the Dynamic Equilibrium of Micelle-Fiber Formation in Self-Assembly of Peptide Amphiphiles

Understanding the role of water in governing the kinetics of the self-assembly processes of amphiphilic peptides has still remained elusive. Here, using a multi-stage atomistic-coarse-grained approach, complemented by circular dichroism/infra-red spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering experiments, we highlight the dual nature of water in dictating the mechanism and dynamics of self-assembly of peptide amphiphiles (PAs). Our computational study shows that (i) Water cage formation and breakage near the hydrophobic groups controls the fusion dynamics and aggregation of PAs in the micellar stage, and (ii) Enhanced structural ordering of vicinal water near the hydrophilic amino acids shifts the equilibrium towards the fiber phase and stimulates structure and order in the PAs when they assemble into a hexagonal nanofiber architecture. Finally, spectroscopy and microscopy studies authenticate our computational observation that water ordering near the PAs increases with increase in time. The measured infra-red O-H bond stretch frequency reminiscent of ice-like suggests that the solvated water becomes increasingly solid-like with increased structural order in the assembled peptide network – thus shedding light on the role of water in a self-assembly process.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Lemont, IL (United States)
  2. Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; Molecular self-assembly; Self-assembly
OSTI Identifier: