The role of self-assembling polypeptides in building nanomaterials

Lei Liu, Katerina Busuttil, Shuai Zhang, Yanliang Yang, Chen Wang, Flemming Besenbacher, Mingdong Dong

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Polypeptides are functional biomolecules that play a key role in life science, where they can act as hormones and signaling molecules. They can self-assemble into a variety of nanostructures, including two dimensional (2D) lamellae, one dimensional (1D) nanofibrils and nanotubes, and zero dimensional (0D) nanospheres. The driving force behind these advanced nanomaterials involves weak non-covalent interactions that include hydrogen bonding, and hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions. Here we discuss each of the interactions in relation to self-assembly and provide examples of some novel applications in engineering materials, tissue engineering and nanoelectronics. The overall aim is to provide a comprehensive, yet easily accessible review of the known nanomaterials produced by self-assembling polypeptides, which may lead to the construction of more advanced polypeptide nanostructures for future applications.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Pages (from-to)17435-17444
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2011


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