A comprehensive understanding of the structure, self-assembly mechanism, and dynamics of one-dimensional supramolecular polymers in water is essential for their application as biomaterials. Although a plethora of techniques are available to study the first two properties, there is a paucity in possibilities to study dynamic exchange of monomers between supramolecular polymers in solution. We recently introduced hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) to characterize the dynamic nature of synthetic supramolecular polymers with only a minimal perturbation of the chemical structure. To further expand the application of this powerful technique some essential experimental aspects have been reaffirmed and the technique has been applied to a diverse library of assemblies. HDX-MS is widely applicable if there are exchangeable hydrogen atoms protected from direct contact with the solvent and if the monomer concentration is sufficiently high to ensure the presence of supramolecular polymers during dilution. In addition, we demonstrate that the kinetic behavior as probed by HDX-MS is influenced by the internal order within the supramolecular polymers and by the self-assembly mechanism.
Bibliographical note© 2021 The Authors. Journal of Polymer Science published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.
- exchange dynamics
- hydrogen deuterium exchange
- supramolecular chemistry
- supramolecular polymers