Synthesis and characterization of self-assembling peptides and depsipeptides for use in tissue engineering and in aqueous zinc batteries

  • Xinzhi Liu (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) (Creator)



Self-assembly is an autonomous process where components organize themselves into structures via noncovalent interactions without human intervention. Ultrashort amphiphilic peptides are typical self-assembly molecules with specific sequence motifs which consist of three to seven amino acids. Due to their amphiphilic structure which carries a dominant hydrophobic tail and a polar head group, these peptides can self-assemble to construct nanofibrous scaffolds system to form hydrogels, organogels or aerogels. The nanofibrous scaffolds formed by amphiphilic peptides are very similar to the fiber structure found in collagen which plays an essential role in extracellular matrix showing the potential of applying these peptide scaffolds together in culturing native human cells. Thus the derivate of amphiphilic peptides depsipeptide in which we replaced one amide bond with an ester bond is also worthwhile to explore a novel penitential material for Tissue Engineering. At the same time, because of the perfect biocompatibility of amphiphilic peptides made up of natural l-amino acids and also the excellent gelation properties providing a solution for zinc dendrite growth in Zn batteries, it will be also meaningful to combine the rationally designed peptide gelation system to Zn batteries. This dissertation describes how to characterize and use ultrashort amphiphilic depsipeptide for tissue engineering and use ultrashort amphiphilic peptide for the electrolyte of Zn batteries. The first chapter provides us with an introduction to self-assembly material, 3D bioprinting, and Zn batteries. The second chapter introduces a novel method to synthesize the depsipeptide fully based on solid phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) and also shows the different properties, especially the gelation behavior by clarifying its mechanism via doing the characterization of depsipeptide. At the end of the second chapter, depsipeptide is proved to be a potential material in 3D bioprinting. The third chapter reveals how we synthesized and characterized the amphiphilic peptide and applied it to the Zn batteries. The cycling stability got promoted compared with bard Zn batteries in symmetrical Zn-Zn cells while the formation of Zn dendrite was also suppressed. The promising results suggest peptide gelation systems are promising electrolytes for use in Zn batteries.
Date made available2022
PublisherKAUST Research Repository

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