Small molecule modulators of aggregation in synthetic melanin polymerizations
There are numerous potential applications for melanin-binding compounds, and new methods are of interest to identify melanin-binding agents. A portion of the polymerization to eumelanin, the black to brown pigment in humans, is thought to be supramolecular aggregation of nanoparticles derived from dihydroxyindoles. Starting with chloroquine, a known eumelanin-binding compound, the ability of small molecules to influence aggregation in synthetic eumelanin polymerizations was investigated. Twenty-eight compounds were tested, including pharmaceuticals, dyes, aromatics, and amines. Compounds that either accelerate or delay the appearance of macroscopic particles in synthetic eumelanin polymerizations were uncovered.
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