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Studies of block copolypeptide synthesis, self-assembly, and structure-directing ability
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The use of organic compounds as templates to assemble inorganic materials with structures over multiple length scales has received much attention due to the potential applications that can be developed from these materials. Many organisms synthesize organic/inorganic composites with exceptional control over morphology, physical properties, and nanoscale organization of these materials. Materials such as bone, nacre, and silica diatoms are excellent examples of the complex yet highly controllable hierarchically structured materials nature can form at ambient conditions. The ability to mimic these organisms through the design of supramolecular assemblies and use them to direct the growth of hierarchically structured materials has increased significantly in recent years. In this dissertation, block copolypeptide templated inorganic materials were synthesized and characterized using a wide range of analytical techniques. There are three major conclusions from this dissertation. First, the conformation of a polypeptide chain can be used to manipulate the porosity of oxide materials obtained. Second, individual supramolecular objects (vesicles) formed by block copolypeptides can be used as templates to form nanostructured hard materials. Third, polypeptide chemistry and solution conditions can be used to control both the morphology and porosity of the hard materials they assemble. This dissertation also describes preliminary work toward designing the block copolypeptides derivatives for biomimetic inorganic synthesis and gene delivery. This work includes the synthesis of these block copolypeptides derivatives and of the templated oxide materials. Some interesting silica materials such as porous silicas and silica nanocapsules were synthesized using double hydrophilic block copolypeptides derivatives as templates. Also, the preliminary work of using these block copolypeptides derivatives for gene delivery is included and shows these copolypeptide derivatives are potential delivery vehicles.
Jan, Jeng-Shiung (2006). Studies of block copolypeptide synthesis, self-assembly, and structure-directing ability. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from