Structure and dynamics of self-assembled poly(ethylene glycol) based coiled-coil nano-objects
Herein we describe the structure and dynamics of self-assembled nano-objects generated from poly(ethylene glycol) based (PEG-ylated) coiled-coil hybrid block copolymers. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) experiments on spin-labeled samples provided a strong indication for a parallel alignment of the peptide helices in at least the dimeric coiled-coil nano-object and indicated that the PEG chains are folded rather closely around the peptide core of the nano-objects. The EPR results were supported by AFM studies, which revealed the presence of discrete nanosized objects in thin, spin cast films of the block copolymers on mica substrates. Since their size and structure may be engineered via directed mutations in the amino acid sequence, these nano-objects may be interesting building blocks for the development of supramolecular materials with various potential applications.