Self-assembly of modified amino acids facilitate the formation of various structures that have unique properties and therefore serve as excellent bio-organic scaffolds for diverse applications. Self-assembly of Fmoc protected single amino acids has attracted great interest owing to their ease of synthesis and applications as functional materials. Smaller assembly units enable synthetic convenience and potentially broader adoption. Herein, we demonstrate the ability to control the morphologies resulting from self-assembly of Fmoc modified aliphatic single amino acids (Fmoc-SAAs) namely, Alanine, Valine, Leucine, Isoleucine, and Proline. Controlled morphological transitions were observed through solvent variation and the mechanism that allows this control was investigated using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. These show that FmocA can form well defined crystalline structures through uniform parallel Fmoc stacking and the optimization of ion concentrations, which is not observed for the other Fmoc-SAAs. We demonstrate that Fmoc protected aliphatic single amino acids are novel scaffolds for the design of distinct micro/nanostructures through a bottom-up approach that can be tuned by control of the environmental parameters.
- solvent-controlled self-assembly
- protected aliphatic amino acids
- modified amino acids