Effect of molecular structure on the properties of naphthalene−dipeptide hydrogelators

Chen, L., Revel, S., Morris, K., Serpell, L. C. and Adams, D. J. (2010) Effect of molecular structure on the properties of naphthalene−dipeptide hydrogelators. Langmuir, 26(16), pp. 13466-13471. (doi: 10.1021/la102059x) (PMID:20695592)

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Dipeptide−conjugates can be efficient low molecular weight hydrogelators. However, the effective design of a gelator for a specific application is compromised by the lack of a clear understanding of the design rules that govern assembly and hence gelation. Here, we report a library of naphthalene−dipeptides, their physical chemical properties, and gelation ability. We have varied both the amino acids in the dipeptides and the substitution on the naphthalene ring to allow variation of the structure throughout the molecule. We have examined the effects of these permutations on the critical micelle concentration and air−water partition coefficient at high pH and the apparent pKa. We show that there is a clear link between these properties and the predicted hydrophobicity of the overall conjugates, rather than the properties varying with, for example, the dipeptide sequence. The majority of these dipeptide−conjugates are effective hydrogelators, although there is no apparent link between the solution properties and whether or not a conjugate is a hydrogelator. Nevertheless, where gelation occurs, the link between hydrophobicity and apparent pKa allows the prediction of the pH at which a gel will be formed and hence informed choice of gelator for specific applications.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Adams, Dave
Authors: Chen, L., Revel, S., Morris, K., Serpell, L. C., and Adams, D. J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Journal Name:Langmuir
Publisher:American Chemical Society
ISSN (Online):1520-5827
Published Online:14 July 2010

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