Functional and well-defined β-sheet-assembled porous spherical shells by surface-guided peptide formation

Steven Harris Wibowo, Adrian Sulistio, Edgar Hoe Hon Wong, Anton Blencowe, Greg Qiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Polypeptides have attracted widespread attention as building blocks for complex materials due to their ability to form higher-ordered structures such as β-sheets. However, the ability to precisely control the formation of well-defined β-sheet-assembled materials remains challenging as β-sheet formation tends to lead to ill-defined and unprocessable aggregates. This work reports a simple, rapid, and robust strategy to form well-defined peptide β-sheet-assembled shells (i.e., hollow spheres) by employing surface-initiated N-carboxyanhydride ring-opening polymerization under a highly efficient surface-driven approach. The concept is demonstrated by the preparation of enzyme-degradable rigid shell architectures composed of H-bonded poly(L-valine) (PVal) grafts with porous and sponge-like surface morphology. The porous PVal-shells exhibit a remarkable and unprecedented ability to non-covalently entrap metal nanoparticles, proteins, drug molecules, and biorelevant polymers, which could potentially lead to a diverse range of biodegradable and functional platforms for applications ranging from therapeutic delivery to organic catalysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3147-3156
Number of pages10
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • polypeptides
  • ring-opening polymerization
  • surface grafting
  • thin shells
  • β-sheets

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