Self-Assembly or Coassembly of Multiresponsive Histidine-Containing Elastin-Like Polypeptide Block Copolymers

Mona Abdelghani, Jingxin Shao, Duc H. T. Le, Hanglong Wu, Jan C. M. van Hest

Published: 2021


In this study a histidine containing elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) diblock copolymer is described with multiresponsive assembly behavior. Self-assembly into micelles is examined by two methods. First, the self-assembly is triggered by the addition of divalent metal ions, with Zn2+ being the most suitable one. Increasing the Zn2+ concentration stabilizes the nanoparticles over a large temperature window (4—45 °C). This diblock exhibits furthermore pH-responsiveness, and particles disassemble under mildly acidic conditions. Second, the coassembly of this ELP with a diblock ELP is examined, which is not responsive to pH and metal ions. Coassembly is triggered by heating the ELPs quickly above the transition temperature of the less hydrophobic block, which results in stable nanoparticles without the need to add metal ions. This novel ELP system offers a versatile modular nanocarrier platform that can respond to different stimuli and can be tuned effectively.

Full Access Link: Macromolecular Bioscience