ADVERTISEMENT

Sequence-Defined Molecules Can Be Used To Create 2D Nanomaterials

The unique sequence-defined property endows materials scientists with the ability to precisely tailor and adjust the combination of functional groups at an atomic level, making it possible to easily customize multi-functional materials.

In particular, peptoids-based 2D nanomaterials, as an emerging class of innovative nanomaterials, are showing unprecedented simplicity in synthesis, core and surface modification, sequence-controlling, and economic availability.

ADVERTISEMENT

DNA-based

Inspired by early achievement in the field of 2D nanomaterials, recently-developed ‚Äúorigami‚ÄĚ method was exploited to assemble DNA sequences into crystalline 2D nanostructures. The ‚Äúorigami‚ÄĚ DNA molecules are designed to fold into monomers with uniformly-shaped building blocks, such as hexagonal or cross-like, and then these building-blocks self-assemble into a 2D structure.

Interestingly, every step of the structure formation process are controlled by intra- and inter- molecule complementary interaction. All the information that controls the self-assembly are encoded into the DNA molecules. Because of the complexity of the DNA molecules and the information they contain, the computational calculations and simulations are heavily relied on to predict the folding and self-assembly behavior of a specific DNA sequence in order to create desired structure. In this process, thousands of factors have to be considered in designing DNA-based 2D nanomaterials.

Protein-based

Inspired by the self-assembled protein-based materials in nature, such as 2D crystalline bacterial cell surface layers, scientists have devoted tremendous efforts to utilize natural and engineered proteins as building blocks for the design and synthesis of functional materials, including 2D nanomaterials. A number of approaches have been developed in the past decades to assemble proteins into 2D nanomaterials, which include the computational design of assembling proteins with shape-complementary interfaces, ligand-mediated protein assembly, and metal coordination driven protein self-assembly. A variety of functional 2D nanomaterials with high information contents have been successfully synthesized using these approaches.

Peptide-based

In contrast to proteins, peptides have short amino acid sequences and are usually less complex to control their self-assembly, while exhibiting protein-like molecular recognition. By manipulating the secondary structures of peptides and their intermolecular interactions, peptides that exhibit either őĪ-helix or ő≤-sheet structures have been used as building blocks to assemble 2D nanostructures.

ADVERTISEMENT

Peptoid-based

Peptoids (poly-N-substituted glycines) is one type of protein mimic and sequence-defined molecules which can self-assemble 2D nanostructures. Peptoids share a similar structure and properties with peptides and proteins, but the lack of backbone hydrogen bonds and chirality which makes it easier to control peptoid self-assembly behavior compared with peptides and proteins. Also, they can be economically synthesized through a step-by-step solid phase synthesis method using primary amines instead of amino acids. The backbone length and the side-chain diversity of peptoids can be precisely tailored at an atomic level. They are resistant to the enzymatic degradation and are thermally stable. More importantly, the 2D nanomaterials assembled from peptoids can be precisely tuned to have tailorable core and surface achieving protein-like molecular recognition for applications.

Recently, Zuckermann and our group have figured out two different strategies for self-assembling of sequence-defined peptoids into 2D nanostructures: by compressing monolayers at interfaces and by evaporation-induced solution crystallization. These peptoid-based 2D nanomaterials have attracted increasing attention for the development of multi-functional materials.

In a word, the development of sequence-defined 2D nanomaterials created a massive potential for multifunctional materials. The properties of these nanomaterials can be altered and modified at an atomic level. In particular, peptoid-based 2D materials offer an easy way to modify their composition and surface chemistry while exhibiting protein-like molecular recognition. While the study on the sequence-defined 2D nanomaterials is still in the early stages, the current progress in investigating the mechanism of peptoid-based 2D nanomaterial self-assembly and the materials design principles offer great promise for achieving predictive synthesis of functional 2D nanomaterials.

These findings are described in the article entitled 2D nanomaterials assembled from sequence-defined molecules, recently published in the journal Nano-Structures & Nano-Objects. This work was summarized by Peng Mu from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the State University of New York, Guangwen Zhou from the State University of New York, and Chun-Long Chen from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

ADVERTISEMENT

Comments

READ THIS NEXT

Fasting May Regenerate Stem Cells In Humans, Study Finds

Researchers have found that mice who fast for a day were able to regenerate their intestinal stem cells. Mice have […]

University Of British Columbia’s Top Scientific Research Of 2017: A Year In Review

2017 was a big year for the University of British Columbia, which conducted some extremely interesting and groundbreaking research over […]

Closing The Loop For Bio-Oil Production From Microalgae By Hydrothermal Liquefaction

Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of microalgae has attracted growing interest for bio-oil production because it does not require dewatering and drying […]

List Of Asian Countries And Capitals

The list of Asian countries begins with Afghanistan and ends with Yemen, in total comprising 49 countries that the UN […]

What Is Rose Quartz?

Rose quartz¬†is a specific mineral variety of crystalline quartz that is characterized by its soft pinkish hue. The particular shade […]

New Modeling Techniques Could Be Key To Developing Antibiotics To Combat Superbugs

A new project by researchers at Newcastle University could help in the fight against drug-resistant strains of bacteria. By using […]

25 Fun Facts About Africa

These interesting¬†facts about Africa will make you realize just how incredible the continent is: Africa is the second-largest continent by […]

Science Trends is a popular source of science news and education around the world. We cover everything from solar power cell technology to climate change to cancer research. We help hundreds of thousands of people every month learn about the world we live in and the latest scientific breakthroughs. Want to know more?