Ion-Triggered Hydrogels Self-Assembled from Statistical Copolypeptides.pdf (2.09 MB)
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Ion-triggered hydrogels self-assembled from statistical copolypeptides

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journal contribution
posted on 02.06.2022, 08:58 authored by Bing Wu, Saltuk B Hanay, Scott D Kimmins, Sally-Ann CryanSally-Ann Cryan, Daniel Hermida Merino, Andreas HeiseAndreas Heise
Statistical copolypeptides comprising lysine and tyrosine with unprecedented ion-induced gelation behavior are reported. Copolypeptides are obtained by one-step N-carboxyanhydride (NCA) ring-opening polymerization. The gelation mechanism is studied by in situ SAXS analyses, in addition to optical spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It is found that the gelation of these statistically polymerized polypeptides is due to the formation of stable intermolecular β-sheet secondary structures induced by the presence of salt ions as well as the aggregation of an α-helix between the copolypeptides. This behavior is unique to the statistical lysine/tyrosine copolypeptides and was not observed in any other amino acid combination or arrangement. Furthermore, the diffusion and mechanical properties of these hydrogels can be tuned through tailoring the polypeptide chain length and ion strength.


EU FP7 Marie Curie Actions under the NEOGEL project (Grant No. 316973)

EU Horizon2020 Marie Curie Cofund project (Grant No. 713279)

Translational Research in Nanomedical Devices (TREND) project, Science Foundation Ireland Investigators Program (Grant 13/IA/1840(T))



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Wu B. et al. Ion-triggered hydrogels self-assembled from statistical copolypeptides. ACS Macro Lett. 2022;11(3):323-328

Publication Date

16 February 2022

PubMed ID



  • Amber (Advanced Material & Bioengineering Research) Centre
  • Chemistry
  • CURAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices
  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences
  • Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG)

Research Area

  • Respiratory Medicine
  • Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine


American Chemical Society (ACS)


  • Published Version (Version of Record)