Self-assembled peptide hydrogels

  • Eleanor Johnson

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The use of low-molecular weight peptide-based hydrogelators (LMWGs) for the immobilisation of enzymes is presented in this thesis. Low-molecular weight hydrogelators are a class of materials which are highly suitable for increasing enzyme lifetimes as they create a suitable biomimetic environment. Immobilised enzymes can be utilised in enzyme fuel cells, providing low-energy conversion routes for chemical processes. The hydrogels also possess tunable properties which allow their structure to be manipulated to give desirable properties.This work begins with an exploration of dipeptide hydrogelators by investigating the effect of varying salt solutions and concentrations of dipeptide on final hydrogel structures. A wide range of characterisation techniques are employed to provide information about the micro- and macro-structure of the hydrogels.The creation of dipeptide hydrogel materials via an electrochemical method is explored, which allows the production of nanometre thick, membrane-like materials. These layers are measured using Surface Plasmon Resonance techniques. The electrochemical technique for dipeptide gelation is expanded in later chapters to produce a range of novel materials.Finally, an exploration into the effect of additives on dipeptide hydrogels is conducted, where the effect of adding chiral molecules is investigated. This provides interesting information regarding the self-assembly processes involved with hydrogelation processes, which has important implications for studying the folding and unfolding processes of peptides.
Date of Award1 Dec 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorPetra Cameron (Supervisor)


  • self-assembly
  • peptide
  • hydrogel
  • enzyme immobilistion

Cite this