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Self-folding of supramolecular polymers into bioinspired topology.

Prabhu, DD; Aratsu, K; Kitamoto, Y; Ouchi, H; Ohba, T; Hollamby, MJ; Shimizu, N; Takagi, H; Haruki, R; Adachi, S-I; Yagai, S

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DD Prabhu

K Aratsu

Y Kitamoto

H Ouchi

T Ohba

N Shimizu

H Takagi

R Haruki

S-I Adachi

S Yagai


Folding one-dimensional polymer chains into well-defined topologies represents an important organization process for proteins, but replicating this process for supramolecular polymers remains a challenging task. We report supramolecular polymers that can fold into protein-like topologies. Our approach is based on curvature-forming supramolecular rosettes, which affords kinetic control over the extent of helical folding in the resulting supramolecular fibers by changing the cooling rate for polymerization. When using a slow cooling rate, we obtained misfolded fibers containing a minor amount of helical domains that folded on a time scale of days into unique topologies reminiscent of the protein tertiary structures. Thermodynamic analysis of fibers with varying degrees of folding revealed that the folding is accompanied by a large enthalpic gain. The self-folding proceeds via ordering of misfolded domains in the main chain using helical domains as templates, as fully misfolded fibers prepared by a fast cooling rate do not self-fold.


Prabhu, D., Aratsu, K., Kitamoto, Y., Ouchi, H., Ohba, T., Hollamby, M., …Yagai, S. (2018). Self-folding of supramolecular polymers into bioinspired topology. Science Advances, 4(9), Article eaat8466.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 27, 2018
Publication Date Sep 7, 2018
Journal Science Advances
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 9
Article Number eaat8466
Publisher URL


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