(121b) Self-Assembling Polypeptoids for Nanoscale Materials Applications

Authors: 
Segalman, R., UCSB
Zuckermann, R. N., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Self-assembling synthetic polymers offer the stability and robustness necessary for materials applications and can be used to pattern on the nanometer scale, however our ability to directly include functionality in these materials is at its infancy.  Biological polymers, such as polypeptides, are responsible for many of life’s most sophisticated functions due to precisely evolved hierarchical structures. Protein structures are the result of monodisperse sequences of amino acids that fold into well-defined chain shapes and tertiary structures with a degree of complexity that is very difficult to understand.  In order bridge this gap between our ability to direct the self-assembly of synthetic polymers and the sophisticated intertwining of structure and function in biopolymers, we must first develop an understanding of the relationship between monomer sequence, chain shape, and directed self-assembly. Polypeptoids are non-natural, sequence specific polymers that offer the opportunity to probe the effect of sequence on self-assembly with much simpler molecular interactions and more scalable synthesis than traditional polypeptides.  In this talk, I will discuss the use of this model system to understand the role of sequence on chain shape and block copolymer self-assembly.  I will then discuss potential application as surface active agents for anti-fouling.