Cooperative Self-Assembly of Discoid Dimers: Hierarchical Formation of Nanostructures with a pH Switch

Fenske MT, Meyer-Zaika W, Korth H-G, Vieker H, Turchanin A, Schmuck C (2013)
Journal of the American Chemical Society 135(22): 8342-8349.

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Abstract
Derivatives of the self-complementary 2-guanidiniocarbonyl 5-carboxylate zwitterion (1) (previously reported by us to dimerize to 1.1 with an aggregation constant of ca. >10(10) M-1 in DMSO) aggregate in a diverse manner depending on, e.g., variation of concentration or its protonation state. The mode of aggregation was analyzed by spectroscopic (NMR, UV) and microscopic (AFM, SEM, HIM, and TEM) methods. Aggregation of dimers of these zwitterions to higher supramolecular structures was achieved by introduction of sec-amide substitutents at the 3-position, i.e., at the reward periphery of the parent binding motif. A butyl amide substituent as in 2b enables the discoid dimers to further aggregate into one-dimensional (rod-like) stacks. Quantitative UV dilution studies showed that this aggregation is strongly cooperative following a nucleation elongation mechanism. The amide hydrogen seems to be essential for this rod-like aggregation, as neither 1 nor a corresponding tert-amide congener 2a form comparable structures. Therefore, a hydrogen bond-assisted pi-pi interaction of the dimeric zwitterions is suggested to promote this aggregation mode, which is further affected by the nature of the amide substitutent (e.g., steric demand), enabling the formation of bundles of strands or even two-dimensional sheets. By exploiting the zwitterionic nature of the aggregating discoid dimers, a reversible pH switch was realized: dimerization of all compounds is suppressed by protonation of the carboxylate moiety, converting the zwitterions into typical cationic amphiphiles. Accordingly, typical nanostructures like vesicles, tubes, and flat sheets are formed reverisbly under acidic conditions, which reassemble into the original rod-like aggregates upon readjustment to neutral pH.
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Fenske MT, Meyer-Zaika W, Korth H-G, Vieker H, Turchanin A, Schmuck C. Cooperative Self-Assembly of Discoid Dimers: Hierarchical Formation of Nanostructures with a pH Switch. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2013;135(22):8342-8349.
Fenske, M. T., Meyer-Zaika, W., Korth, H. - G., Vieker, H., Turchanin, A., & Schmuck, C. (2013). Cooperative Self-Assembly of Discoid Dimers: Hierarchical Formation of Nanostructures with a pH Switch. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 135(22), 8342-8349.
Fenske, M. T., Meyer-Zaika, W., Korth, H. - G., Vieker, H., Turchanin, A., and Schmuck, C. (2013). Cooperative Self-Assembly of Discoid Dimers: Hierarchical Formation of Nanostructures with a pH Switch. Journal of the American Chemical Society 135, 8342-8349.
Fenske, M.T., et al., 2013. Cooperative Self-Assembly of Discoid Dimers: Hierarchical Formation of Nanostructures with a pH Switch. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 135(22), p 8342-8349.
M.T. Fenske, et al., “Cooperative Self-Assembly of Discoid Dimers: Hierarchical Formation of Nanostructures with a pH Switch”, Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 135, 2013, pp. 8342-8349.
Fenske, M.T., Meyer-Zaika, W., Korth, H.-G., Vieker, H., Turchanin, A., Schmuck, C.: Cooperative Self-Assembly of Discoid Dimers: Hierarchical Formation of Nanostructures with a pH Switch. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 135, 8342-8349 (2013).
Fenske, M. Tassilo, Meyer-Zaika, Wolfgang, Korth, Hans-Gert, Vieker, Henning, Turchanin, Andrey, and Schmuck, Carsten. “Cooperative Self-Assembly of Discoid Dimers: Hierarchical Formation of Nanostructures with a pH Switch”. Journal of the American Chemical Society 135.22 (2013): 8342-8349.
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