Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 45, Issue 19, pp 5302–5308 | Cite as

AFM investigations of self-assembled DOPA–melanin nano-aggregates

  • Maria Jastrzebska
  • Iwona Mróz
  • Bogdan Barwiński
  • Roman Wrzalik
  • Stanislaw Boryczka


The formation of longitudinal, fibril-like structures upon drop drying of the synthetic DOPA–melanin colloidal suspension was investigated. Synthetic DOPA–melanin comprises mainly molecular species derived from the coupling of 5,6-dihydroxyindole and 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid monomers that aggregate forming granules. AFM images have shown that for different substrates (mica, glass, gold), melanin granules have a tendency to form aggregates on nanometer-size scale, which in turn self-assemble into fibril-like structures. The deposits are about 250 nm in width and 50 nm in height. The formation of observed deposits has been explained assuming Van der Waals interactions between stacked planar aromatic structures present in melanin protomolecules. These results can support the recent stacked oligomer model for eumelanin protomolecules and provide experimental evidence for formation of organic self-assembled nano-aggregates of melanin polymer.


Electron Spin Resonance Gold Substrate Longitudinal Structure Mica Substrate Melanin Granule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was partially supported by the Grant No. KNW-1-040/09. The authors are grateful to Professor A. Ciszewski from the Institute of Experimental Physics, University of Wroclaw, Poland, for his scientific guidance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Jastrzebska
    • 1
  • Iwona Mróz
    • 2
  • Bogdan Barwiński
    • 2
  • Roman Wrzalik
    • 3
  • Stanislaw Boryczka
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Radioisotope Diagnostics and Radiopharmaceuticals, Faculty of PharmacyMedical University of SilesiaSosnowiecPoland
  2. 2.Institute of Experimental PhysicsUniversity of WrocławWroclawPoland
  3. 3.Department of Biophysics and Molecular PhysicsInstitute of Physics, University of SilesiaKatowicePoland
  4. 4.Department of Organic Chemistry, Faculty of PharmacyMedical University of SilesiaSosnowiecPoland

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