The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Tailoring the Self-assembly of a Tripeptide for the Formation of Antimicrobial Surfaces
Bacteria settling on surfaces are currently one of the greatest concerns for the supply of proper health, water and energy. Bacterial accumulation on medical devices and implants, impair their function and can lead to severe infections and even death. Materials addressing this phenomenon are called antifouling materials. Different materials have been developed in the last fifty years, however, no optimal solution has yet to be found.
Here, we describe the self-assembly of a short peptide into two different types of supramolecular structures, depending on the pH of the solution. These particles are designed to reduce bacterial adhesion and at the same time release biocidal compounds. By using NMR and molecular dynamics, MD, we determined the structures of the peptide monomers and showed the forces directing the self-assembly of each structure under different conditions.
When adhered to a surface, the peptide particles modify its chemical and physical characteristics and confer it with the ability to resist biofouling. The inclusion of biocidal compounds, for example antibiotic, enzyme and anticancer drug, in the particles resulted in an improved antimicrobial activity of the surface. This approach and the detailed understanding of the processes are relevant for developing new sterile surfaces for health-care systems, water purification devices, food packaging or any environment that suffers from biocontamination.