Modulating self-assembly of a nanotape-forming peptide amphiphile with an oppositely charged surfactant
Castelletto, V., Hamley, I. W., Adamcik, J., Mezzenga, R. and Gummel, J. (2012) Modulating self-assembly of a nanotape-forming peptide amphiphile with an oppositely charged surfactant. Soft Matter, 8 (1). pp. 217-226. ISSN 1744-683X
To link to this article DOI: 10.1039/C1SM06677C
A peptide amphiphile (PA) C16-KTTKS, containing a pentapeptide headgroup based on a sequence from procollagen I attached to a hexadecyl lipid chain, self-assembles into extended nanotapes in aqueous solution. The tapes are based on bilayer structures, with a 5.2 nm spacing. Here, we investigate the effect of addition of the oppositely charged anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) via AFM, electron microscopic methods, small-angle X-ray scattering and X-ray diffraction among other methods. We show that addition of SDS leads to a transition from tapes to fibrils, via intermediate states that include twisted ribbons. Addition of SDS is also shown to enhance the development of remarkable lateral ‘‘stripes’’ on the nanostructures, which have a 4 nm periodicity. This is ascribed to counterion condensation. The transition in the nanostructure leads to changes in macroscopic properties, in particular a transition from sol to gel is noted on increasing SDS (with a further reentrant transition to sol on further increase of SDS concentration). Formation of a gel may be useful in applications of this PA in skincare applications and we show that this can be controlled via development of a network of fine stranded fibrils.