Synthesis and characterization of covalent diphenylalanine nanotube-folic acid conjugates
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Herein, we describe the synthesis and characterization of a covalent nanoscale assembly formed between diphenylalanine micro/nanotubes (PNT) and folic acid (FA). The conjugate was obtained via chemical functionalization through coupling of amine groups of PNTs and carboxylic groups of FA. The surface analysis of PNT-FA indicated the presence of FA aggregates on the surface of PNTs. The covalent interaction between FA and self-assembled PNTs was further investigated using fluorescence microscopy, Raman and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopies. The SERS experiments were performed on a large area silver-capped (diameter of 62 nm) silicon nanopillars with an approximate height of 400 nm and a width of 200 nm. The results showed that the PNT-FA synthesis procedure preserves the molecular structure of FA. The PNT-FA conjugate presented in this study is a promising candidate for applications in the detection and diagnosis of cancer or tropical diseases such as leishmaniasis and as a carrier nanosystem delivering drugs to malignant tumors that overexpress folate receptors.
KeywordsPeptide nanotubes Folic acid Assembly SERS Drug delivery Biomedicine
We are grateful for the financial support provided by H.C. Ørsted Postdoc Stipend, NanoPlasmonic sensors, Naplas and The Colombian Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation, COLCIENCIAS.
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