The spontaneous ordering of peptides allows the formation of structural arrays maintained by a delicate interplay of intermolecular interactions between peptide chains. In the current project, we intent to investigate the immobilization of Leishmania antigens in hydrogels based on L-phenylalanine (F) and L-arginine (R), covalently bound to synthetic polymer polyethylene glycol (PEG), aiming developing immunosensors. Specifically, our goal is the search of information on the nucleation, variation of viscoelasticity and stabilization of Leishmania antigens during the process of the peptide hydrogelation contains PEG polymer, by using a wide set of experimental techniques encompassing several spectroscopies, multilevel microscopy and light and X-rays scattering. We will determine few key-variables such as critical aggregation concentrations, and kinetic constants. Physicochemical parameters of the medium wherein the self-assembly occurs will be modulated by varying the ionic strength, pH and polarity of the solvent. Through this procedure, we intend to establish a panorama of the interplay of inter- and intra-molecular forces and thus contributing for understanding these phenomena of great relevance in systems of biological interest.Every manipulation of cells will be developed in collaboration with the group of Prof. Marcia Aparecida Sperança in UFABC, with support from FAPESP (Proc. No. 2012 / 20221-9).
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: