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3D Printing of Dipeptide crystals for Multilevel Anticounterfeiting

Dr. Ji Tae Kim, Assistant professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, developed a new nanoscale 3D printing method that is combined with molecular self-assembly process for fabricating freestanding, crystalline dipeptide architectures. The research has been published by Nano Letters on September 29, 2022.

Details of the publication:

“Three-Dimensional Printing of Dipeptides with Spatio-Selective Programming of Crystallinity for Multilevel Anticounterfeiting”

Jihyuk Yang, Xiao Huan, Yu Liu, Heekwon Lee, Mojun Chen, Shiqi Hu, Sixi Cao, and Ji Tae Kim


The functionalities of peptide microstructures and nanostructures can be enhanced by controlling their crystallinity. Gaining control over the crystallinity within the desired structure, however, remains a challenge. We have developed a three-dimensional (3D) printing method that enables spatioselective programming of the crystallinity of diphenylalanine (FF) dipeptide microarchitectures. A femtoliter ink meniscus is used to spatially control reprecipitation self-assembly, enabling the printing of a freestanding FF microstructure with programmed shape and crystallinity. The self-assembly crystallization of FF can be switched on and off at will by controlling the evaporation of the binary solvent. The evaporation-dependent crystallization was theoretically studied by the numerical simulation of supersaturation fields in the meniscus. We found that a 3D-printed FF microarchitecture with spatially programmed crystallinity can carry a 3D digital optical anisotropy pattern, applicable to generating polarization-encoded anticounterfeiting labels. This crystallinity-controlled additive manufacturing will pave the new way for facilitating the creation of peptide-based devices.

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