Mussel inspired dynamic cross-linking of self-healing peptide nanofiber network
Advanced Functional Materials
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Ceylan, H., Urel, M., Erkal, T. S., Tekinay, A. B., Dana, A., & Guler, M. O. (2013). Mussel Inspired Dynamic Cross‐Linking of Self‐Healing Peptide Nanofiber Network. Advanced Functional Materials, 23(16), 2081-2090.
Please cite this item using this persistent URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/11693/13004
A general drawback of supramolecular peptide networks is their weak mechanical properties. In order to overcome a similar challenge, mussels have adapted to a pH-dependent iron complexation strategy for adhesion and curing. This strategy also provides successful stiffening and self-healing properties. The present study is inspired by the mussel curing strategy to establish iron cross-link points in self-assembled peptide networks. The impact of peptide-iron complexation on the morphology and secondary structure of the supramolecular nanofi bers is characterized by scanning electron microscopy, circular dichroism and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Mechanical properties of the cross-linked network are probed by small angle oscillatory rheology and nanoindentation by atomic force microscopy. It is shown that iron complexation has no infl uence on self-assembly and β -sheet-driven elongation of the nanofi bers. On the other hand, the organic-inorganic hybrid network of iron cross-linked nanofi bers demonstrates strong mechanical properties comparable to that of covalently cross-linked network. Strikingly, iron cross-linking does not inhibit intrinsic reversibility of supramolecular peptide polymers into disassembled building blocks and the self-healing ability upon high shear load. The strategy described here could be extended to improve mechanical properties of a wide range of supramolecular polymer networks.