Advances in Self-Assembly of Metabolite Nanostructures: Physiology, Pathology and Nanotechnology

Om Shanker Tiwari, Sigal Rencus-Lazar, Ehud Gazit*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Metabolites are immensely important for the routine function of every cell and take part in numerous physiological processes. Yet, in excess amounts, metabolites can self-assemble, giving rise to cytotoxic amyloid-like structures. Such structures may underlie some of the pathological effects associated with inborn error of metabolism disorders characterized by metabolite accumulation due to genetic mutations. Furthermore, such assemblies may have a role in neurodegenerative disorders due to abnormal accumulation. On the other hand, metabolites were shown to form functional assemblies in various organisms. Interestingly, various proteins and peptides showing amyloidal properties also have physiological roles and have been used for the fabrication of functional nanomaterials. Following this notion, metabolite self-assembly could also be utilized due to several advantages including exceptional biocompatibility, inexpensive production, facile modeling and biodegradability in vivo. Co-assembly of metabolites resulting in high rigidity can be further used in different biomedical and nanotechnological applications. Metal-coordinated metabolite assemblies can be used as electrocatalysts in energy harvesting applications. Consequently, the study of metabolite self-assemblies is not only crucial in order to understand their role in normal physiology and in pathology, but can also uncover a new route in exploring the fabrication of organic, biocompatible structures for material sciences and various technological applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202200055
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


FundersFunder number
Airforce Research Laboratories
Air Force Office of Scientific ResearchFA8655‐21‐1‐7004
Tel Aviv University


    • Metabolites
    • Nanostructures
    • Nanotechnology
    • Self-assembly
    • Semiconductor
    • Supercapacitor
    • Supramolecular structures


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