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Peptide-stabilized emulsions and gels from an arginine-rich surfactant-like peptide with antimicrobial activity

Castelletto, V., Edwards-Gayle, C. J. C., Hamley, I. W., Barrett, G., Seitsonen, J. and Ruokolainen, J. (2019) Peptide-stabilized emulsions and gels from an arginine-rich surfactant-like peptide with antimicrobial activity. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 11 (10). pp. 9893-9903. ISSN 1944-8244

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b00581


The preparation of hydrogels and stable emulsions is important in the formulation of many functional nanostructured soft materials. We investigate the multifunctional self-assembly and bioactivity properties of a novel surfactant-like peptide (SLP) that shows antimicrobial activity, is able to form hydrogels without pH adjustment, and is able to stabilize oil-in-water emulsions. Furthermore, we demonstrate on-demand de-emulsification in response to the protease enzyme elastase. We show that SLP (Ala)9-Arg (A9R) forms β-sheet fibers above a critical aggregation concentration and that water-in-oil emulsions are stabilized by a coating of β-sheet fibers around the emulsion droplets. Furthermore, we demonstrate enzyme-responsive de-emulsification, which has potential in the development of responsive release systems. The peptide shows selective antimicrobial activity against Gram-negative pathogens including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes serious infections. Our results highlight the utility of SLPs in the stabilization of oil/water emulsions and the potential for these to be used to formulate antimicrobial peptide emulsions which are additionally responsive to protease. The peptide A9R has pronounced antibacterial activity against clinically challenging pathogens, and its ability to form β-sheet fibers plays a key role in its diverse structural properties, ranging from hydrogel formation to emulsion stabilization.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Chemical Analysis Facility (CAF)
Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:83138
Publisher:ACS Publications


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