Possibilities for 'smart' materials exploiting the self-assembly of polypeptides into fibrils

Kevin Channon, Cait E. MacPhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Programmed assembly and self-assembly of soft materials offers significant promise for the generation of new types of materials with useful properties. Through evolutionary processes occurring over billions of years, nature has produced numerous optimised building blocks for the controlled assembly of a wide range of complex architectures. Our challenge now is to imitate these naturally occurring processes for technological applications, either using biological molecules such as DNA and proteins, or macromolecular mimics that retain many of the important features of biological molecules while introducing new functionalities. We focus on a single example of biomolecular self-assembly-the self-assembly of polypeptides, including polypeptide mimics, into quasi-one-dimensional fibres-to provide a flavour of the utility of soft biological materials for construction purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-652
Number of pages6
JournalSoft Matter
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • NOVO DESIGNED PEPTIDE
  • AMYLOID FIBRILS
  • PROTEIN
  • PRION
  • AGGREGATION
  • FILAMENTS
  • HYDROGELS
  • DISEASE
  • MODEL
  • NANOSTRUCTURES

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