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Inside Front Cover: Rigid, Self-Assembled Hydrogel Composed of a Modified Aromatic Dipeptide (Adv. Mater. 11/2006)
Formation of a self-assembled hydrogel with remarkable mechanical rigidity using a very simple building block, 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl-diphenylalanine peptide, is reported by Gazit and co-workers on p. 1365. The hydrogel forms under mild conditions in aqueous solution, using a much shorter peptide than previously reported, and has physical properties exceeding those of hydrogels formed by much longer polypeptides, as previously reported for diphenylalanine nanotubes. The rigidity is likely facilitated by the aromatic nature of the peptide building block. The hydrogel is stable under extreme conditions, and can be shaped in accordance to the vessel it is assembled in, making it useful for a variety of applications.