Tetrapeptide-coumarin conjugate 3D networks based on hydrogen-bonded charge transfer complexes: gel formation and dye release

Authors: Guo, Zongxia; Gong, Ruiying; Jiang, Yi; Wan, Xiaobo; Soft Matter; (2015); 10.1039/c5sm00995b

Oligopeptide-based derivatives are important synthons for bio-based functional materials. In this article, a Gly-(L-Val)-Gly-(L-Val)-coumarin (GVGV-Cou) conjugate was synthesized, which forms 3D networks in ethanol. The gel nanostructures were characterized by UV-vis spectroscopy, FT-IR spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), SEM and TEM. It is suggested that the formation of charge transfer (CT) complexes between the coumarin moieties is the main driving force for the gel formation. The capability of the gel to encapsulate and release dyes was explored. Both Congo Red (CR) and Methylene Blue (MB) can be trapped in the CT gel matrix and released over time. The present gel might be used as a functional soft material for guest encapsulation and release.