Adaptive Recombinant Nanoworms from Genetically Encodable Star Amphiphiles

Md Shahadat Hossain, Jingjing Ji, Christopher J. Lynch, Miguel Guzman, Shikha Nangia, Davoud Mozhdehi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Recombinant nanoworms are promising candidates for materials and biomedical applications ranging from the templated synthesis of nanomaterials to multivalent display of bioactive peptides and targeted delivery of theranostic agents. However, molecular design principles to synthesize these assemblies (which are thermodynamically favorable only in a narrow region of the phase diagram) remain unclear. To advance the identification of design principles for the programmable assembly of proteins into well-defined nanoworms and to broaden their stability regimes, we were inspired by the ability of topologically engineered synthetic macromolecules to acess rare mesophases. To test this design principle in biomacromolecular assemblies, we used post-translational modifications (PTMs) to generate lipidated proteins with precise topological and compositional asymmetry. Using an integrated experimental and computational approach, we show that the material properties (thermoresponse and nanoscale assembly) of these hybrid amphiphiles are modulated by their amphiphilic architecture. Importantly, we demonstrate that the judicious choice of amphiphilic architecture can be used to program the assembly of proteins into adaptive nanoworms, which undergo a morphological transition (sphere-to-nanoworms) in response to temperature stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-876
Number of pages14
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 14 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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