PAINT-ing Fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl (Fmoc)-Diphenylalanine Hydrogels

Edgar Fuentes, Kamila Boháčová, Ana M. Fuentes-Caparrós, Ralf Schweins, Emily R. Draper, Dave J. Adams (Corresponding author), Silvia Pujals (Corresponding author), Lorenzo Albertazzi (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


Self-assembly of fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl-protected diphenylalanine (FmocFF) in water is widely known to produce hydrogels. Typically, confocal microscopy is used to visualize such hydrogels under wet conditions, that is, without freezing or drying. However, key aspects of hydrogels like fiber diameter, network morphology and mesh size are sub-diffraction limited features and cannot be visualized effectively using this approach. In this work, we show that it is possible to image FmocFF hydrogels by Points Accumulation for Imaging in Nanoscale Topography (PAINT) in native conditions and without direct gel labelling. We demonstrate that the fiber network can be visualized with improved resolution (≈50 nm) both in 2D and 3D. Quantitative information is extracted such as mesh size and fiber diameter. This method can complement the existing characterization tools for hydrogels and provide useful information supporting the design of new materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9869-9873
Number of pages5
JournalChemistry : A European Journal
Issue number44
Early online date19 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2020


  • FmocFF
  • hydrogels
  • Mesh size
  • super-resolution


Dive into the research topics of 'PAINT-ing Fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl (Fmoc)-Diphenylalanine Hydrogels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this