More than a pretty phase: A class of helical β-peptides has been discovered that form lyotropic liquid-crystalline (LC) phases in water. The β-peptide sequence strongly affects the mode of assembly and ultimately whether a LC phase is formed. For a non-globally amphiphilic β-peptide that can form a LC phase, cryo-TEM revealed thin fibers several micrometers in length, consistent with Onsager theory.
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