Two-Dimensional, pH-Responsive Oligoglycine-Based Nanocarriers
The nanocarrier capabilities of atomically smooth two-dimensional sheets of a biantennary oligoglycine peptide C8H16(−CH2–NH–Gly5)2 (also called tectomers) are demonstrated. We show that the pH-controlled, rapid, and reversible assembly and disassembly of oligoglycine can be effectively used for controlled loading and release of the anticancer drug and fluorescent probe coralyne. The calculated partition coefficient in water is of the same order of magnitude or higher when compared to other nanocarriers such as liposomes and micelles, signifying the tectomer’s impressive loading capabilities. Moreover, the loading of guest molecules in tectomers facilitates the protection from rapid photochemically induced degradation. Such efficient, pH-sensitive, stable, and biocompatible nanocarriers are extremely attractive for biosensing, therapeutic, and theranostic applications. Additionally, our results suggest that these planar self-assembled materials can also act as phase-transfer vehicles for hydrophobic cargoes further broadening their biomedical and technological applications.