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Keywords:

  • nanomaterials;
  • self-assembly;
  • biomineralization;
  • fibril formation;
  • ion mobility

Abstract

Amyloid peptides have great potential as building blocks in the creation of functional nanowires due to their natural ability to self-assemble into nanofibrillar structures and because they can be easily modified with various functional groups. However, significant modifications of an amyloid peptide generally alter its self-assembly property, making it difficult to construct functionalized fibrils with a desired structure and function. In this study, a very effective method to overcome this problem is demonstrated by using our structure-controllable amyloid peptides (SCAPs) terminated with a three-amino-acid-residue cap. The method consists on mixing two or more structurally related amyloid peptides with a fraction of modified SCAPs which co-assemble into a fibril. This SCAP-mixing method provides remarkable control over the self-assembly process both on the small oligomers level and the macroscopic fibrils level. Furthermore, it is shown that the modified peptides imbedded in the resulting fibril can subsequently be functionalized to generate nanowires with the desired properties, highlighting the importance of this SCAP method for nanotechnology applications.