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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2008, Article ID 516286, 8 pages
Research Article

The Amphiphilic Self-Assembling Peptide EAK16-I as a Potential Hydrophobic Drug Carrier

1Institute for Nanobiomedical Technology and Membrane Biology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, No.1 Ke Yuan 4th Street, Gao Peng Road, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, China
2State Key Lab of Biotherapy of Human Diseases, Cancer Center, West China Medical School, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, No. 37 Guo Xue Xiang, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, China
3College of Life Science, Sichuan University, No. 24, South Section, First Ring Road, Chengdu, Sichuan 610064, China
4Center for Biomedical Engineering NE47-378, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 500 Technology Square, Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307, USA

Received 30 March 2008; Accepted 18 June 2008

Academic Editor: Zhenzhong Yang

Copyright © 2008 Jing Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


It is crucial for hydrophobic drugs to be dissolved and stabilized by carriers in aqueous systems and then to be delivered into target cells. An amphiphilic self-assembling peptide EAK16-I (Ac-AEAKAEAKAEAKAEAK-NH2) is reported here to be able to stabilize a model hydrophobic compound, pyrene, in aqueous solution, resulting in the formation of colloidal suspensions. Egg phosphatidylcholine (EPC) vesicles are used as plasma membranes mimic. Fluorescence data shows that the pyrene is presented in the crystalline form when stabilized by EAK16-I and molecularly migrates from its peptide encapsulations into the membrane bilayers of EPC vesicles when the suspension is mixed with EPC vesicles. Furthermore, the release rate can be controlled by changing peptide-to-pyrene ratio, and the higher ratios lead to the slower release rates due to a thicker encapsulation on the pyrene microcrystals. This demonstrates that EAK16-I, as a promising nanobiomaterial, has the potential to be a hydrophobic compounds carrier.