In this study, we developed macrocyclic peptide building blocks that formed self-assembled peptide vesicles with molecular recognition capabilities. Macrocyclic peptides were significantly different from conventional amphiphiles, in that they could self-assemble into vesicles at very high hydrophilic-to-total mass ratios. The flexibility of the hydrophobic self-assembly segment was critical for vesicle formation. The unique features of this peptide vesicle system include a homogeneous size distribution, unusually small size, and robust structural and thermal stability. The peptide vesicles successfully entrapped a hydrophilic model drug, released the payload very slowly, and were internalized by cells in a highly efficient manner. Moreover, the peptide vesicles exhibited molecular recognition capabilities, in that they selectively bound to target RNA through surface-displayed peptides. This study demonstrates that self-assembled peptide vesicles can be used as strong intracellular delivery vehicles that recognize specific biomacromolecular targets.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Pharmaceutical Science
- Organic Chemistry