Quantitative model of the phase behavior of recombinant pH-responsive elastin-like polypeptides.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Quantitative models are required to engineer biomaterials with environmentally responsive properties. With this goal in mind, we developed a model that describes the pH-dependent phase behavior of a class of stimulus responsive elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) that undergo reversible phase separation in response to their solution environment. Under isothermal conditions, charged ELPs can undergo phase separation when their charge is neutralized. Optimization of this behavior has been challenging because the pH at which they phase separate, pHt, depends on their composition, molecular weight, concentration, and temperature. To address this problem, we developed a quantitative model to describe the phase behavior of charged ELPs that uses the Henderson-Hasselbalch relationship to describe the effect of side-chain ionization on the phase-transition temperature of an ELP. The model was validated with pH-responsive ELPs that contained either acidic (Glu) or basic (His) residues. The phase separation of both ELPs fit this model across a range of pH. These results have important implications for applications of pH-responsive ELPs because they provide a quantitative model for the rational design of pH-responsive polypeptides whose transition can be triggered at a specified pH.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mackay, JA; Callahan, DJ; Fitzgerald, KN; Chilkoti, A

Published Date

  • November 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 2873 - 2879

PubMed ID

  • 20925333

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3032028

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1526-4602

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1525-7797

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/bm100571j


  • eng