Polyelectrolyte multilayer nanofilms and nanocomposites have shown considerable promise for the rational development of multifunctional materials with wide-ranging properties. Polypeptides are a distinctive and largely unexplored class of polyelectrolytes in this context. Methods now exist for the synthesis of peptides with control at the level of the amino acid sequence, and for the preparation of these polymers in massive quantities. Here, we analyze the roles of six designed 32mer peptides in the fabrication, structure, and stability of multilayer nanofilms prepared by layer-by-layer self-assembly. The data show that amino acid sequence and the specific combination of anionic and cationic peptides together have a marked impact on nanofilm growth behavior, secondary structure content, and density in experimental studies. The same factors determine physical properties of the corresponding interpolypeptide complexes in molecular dynamics simulations.
- Layer-by-layer assembly
- Molecular dynamics multilayer film
- Noncovalent interaction