It is common to switch between H2O and D2O when examining peptide-based systems, with the assumption being that there are no effects from this change. Here, we describe the effect of changing from H2O to D2O in a number of low-molecular-weight dipeptide-based gels. Gels are formed by decreasing the pH. In most cases, there is little difference in the structures formed at high pH, but this is not universally true. On lowering the pH, the kinetics of gelation are affected and, in some cases, the structures underpinning the gel network are different. Where there are differences in the self-assembled structures, the resulting gel properties are different. We, therefore, show that isotopic control over gel properties is possible.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
D.J.A. thanks the EPSRC for a Fellowship (EP/L021978/1), which also funded K.M. AMFC and L.T. thank the University of Glasgow for funding. We thank Dr. Emily Draper for helpful discussions. The Ganesha X-ray scattering apparatus was purchased under EPSRC Grant “Atoms to Applications” (EP/K035746/1). This work benefitted from SasView software, originally developed by the DANSE project under NSF award DMR-0520547.
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