Lipid-like self-assembling peptide nanovesicles for drug delivery

Dimitrios G. Fatouros, Dimitrios A. Lamprou, Andrew J. Urquhart, Spyros N. Yannopoulos, Ioannis S. Vizirianakis, Shuguang Zhang, Sotirios Koutsopoulos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


Amphiphilic self-assembling peptides are functional materials, which, depending on the amino acid sequence, the peptide length, and the physicochemical conditions, form a variety of nanostructures including nanovesicles, nanotubes, and nanovalves. We designed lipid-like peptides with an aspartic acid or lysine hydrophilic head and a hydrophobic tail composed of six alanines (i.e., ac-A6K-CONH2, KA6-CONH 2, ac-A6D-COOH, and DA6-COOH). The resulting novel peptides have a length similar to biological lipids and form nanovesicles at physiological conditions. AFM microscopy and light scattering analyses of the positively charged lipid-like ac-A6K-CONH2, KA 6-CONH2 peptide formulations showed individual nanovesicles. The negatively charged ac-A6D-COOH and DA 6-COOH peptides self-assembled into nanovesicles that formed clusters that upon drying were organized into necklace-like formations of nanovesicles. Encapsulation of probe molecules and release studies through the peptide bilayer suggest that peptide nanovesicles may be good candidates for sustained release of pharmaceutically active hydrophilic and hydrophobic compounds. Lipid-like peptide nanovesicles represent a paradigm shifting system that may complement liposomes for the delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8184-8189
Number of pages6
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number11
Early online date12 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • controlled release
  • designer peptide surfactants
  • lipid-like peptides
  • liposome alternatives
  • tunable peptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Medicine


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