Mechanical Enhancement and Kinetics Regulation of Fmoc-Diphenylalanine Hydrogels by Thioflavin T

Tatiana N. Tikhonova*, Nataliya N. Rovnyagina, Zohar A. Arnon, Boris P. Yakimov, Yuri M. Efremov, Dana Cohen-Gerassi, Michal Halperin-Sternfeld, Nastasia V. Kosheleva, Vladimir P. Drachev, Andrey A. Svistunov, Peter S. Timashev, Lihi Adler-Abramovich*, Evgeny A. Shirshin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The self-assembly of peptides is a key direction for fabrication of advanced materials. Novel approaches for fine tuning of macroscopic and microscopic properties of peptide self-assemblies are of a high demand for constructing biomaterials with desired properties. In this work, while studying the kinetics of the Fmoc-Diphenylalanine (Fmoc-FF) dipeptide self-assembly using the Thioflavin T (ThT) dye, we observed that the presence of ThT strongly modifies structural and mechanical properties of the Fmoc-FF hydrogel. Notably, the presence of ThT resulted in a tenfold increase of the gelation time and in the formation of short and dense fibers in the hydrogel. As a result of these morphological alteration higher thermal stability, and most important, tenfold increase of the hydrogel rigidity was achieved. Hence, ThT not only slowed the kinetics of the Fmoc-FF hydrogel formation, but also strongly enhanced its mechanical properties. In this study, we provide a detailed description of the ThT effect on the hydrogel properties and suggest the mechanisms for this phenomenon, paving the way for the novel approach to the control of the peptide hydrogels’ micro- and macroscale properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25339-25345
Number of pages7
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number48
StatePublished - 22 Nov 2021


FundersFunder number
Chaoul Center for Nanoscale Systems of Tel Aviv University
Educational School of Lomonosov Moscow State University
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
European Research Council
Ministry of Science, Technology and Space
Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian FederationN075‐15‐2020‐926
Israel Science Foundation1732/17
Horizon 2020948102


    • Thioflavin T
    • biomechanics
    • fluorescence lifetime
    • hydrogel
    • peptide self-assembly


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