Microphase Separation of Stimulus-Responsive Block-co-Polypeptides on Surfaces
Among soft matter materials, block copolymers can form ordered structures with high regularity by microphase separation, triggered by the selective incompatibility of the blocks with each other. Many current studies of block-co-polypeptides are focused on their self-assembly in dilute solutions. This work expands previous research on the self-assembly of block-co-polypeptides into micellar structures in dilute solutions to the microphase separation in concentrated solutions and on surfaces, by using a model family of resilin-like/elastin-like block-co-polypeptides. The effects of four parameters, including relative block lengths, temperature, concentration, and deposition methods, on microphase separation are investigated. The results show that the presence of microphase separation and the morphologies of microphase separated structures are predictable from our study of thermodynamic theory. This work provides an understanding of how sequence design of stimulus-responsive block-co-polypeptides is related to their microphase separation.
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