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Title: Tuning calcite morphology and growth acceleration by a rational design of highly stable protein-mimetics

In nature, proteins play a significant role in biomineral formation. One of the ultimate goals of bioinspired materials science is to develop highly stable synthetic molecules that mimic the function of these natural proteins by controlling crystal formation. Here, we demonstrate that both the morphology and the degree of acceleration or inhibition observed during growth of calcite in the presence of peptoids can be rationally tuned by balancing the electrostatic interactions (EI) and hydrophobic interactions (HI), with HI playing the dominant role. While either strong EI or HI inhibit growth and suppress (104) face expression, correlations between peptoid-crystal binding energies and observed changes in calcite growth indicate moderate EI allow peptoids to weakly adsorb while moderate HI cause disruption of surface-adsorbed water layers, leading to growth acceleration with retained expression of (104) faces. This study provides fundamental principles for designing peptoids as crystallization promoters, and offers a straightforward screening method based on macroscopic crystal morphology. Because peptoids are sequence-specific, highly stable, and easily synthesized, peptoid-enhanced crystallization offers a broad range of potential applications.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: Scientific Reports, 4:Article No. 6266
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States