Bioinspired Amino Acid Based Materials in Bionanotechnology: From Minimalistic Building Blocks and Assembly Mechanism to Applications

Yuehui Wang, Sigal Rencus-Lazar, Haoran Zhou, Yuanyuan Yin*, Xuemei Jiang, Kaiyong Cai, Ehud Gazit*, Wei Ji*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Inspired by natural hierarchical self-assembly of proteins and peptides, amino acids, as the basic building units, have been shown to self-assemble to form highly ordered structures through supramolecular interactions. The fabrication of functional biomaterials comprised of extremely simple biomolecules has gained increasing interest due to the advantages of biocompatibility, easy functionalization, and structural modularity. In particular, amino acid based assemblies have shown attractive physical characteristics for various bionanotechnology applications. Herein, we propose a review paper to summarize the design strategies as well as research advances of amino acid based supramolecular assemblies as smart functional materials. We first briefly introduce bioinspired reductionist design strategies and assembly mechanism for amino acid based molecular assembly materials through noncovalent interactions in condensed states, including self-assembly, metal ion mediated coordination assembly, and coassembly. In the following part, we provide an overview of the properties and functions of amino acid based materials toward applications in nanotechnology and biomedicine. Finally, we give an overview of the remaining challenges and future perspectives on the fabrication of amino acid based supramolecular biomaterials with desired properties. We believe that this review will promote the prosperous development of innovative bioinspired functional materials formed by minimalistic building blocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1257-1288
Number of pages32
JournalACS Nano
Issue number2
StatePublished - 16 Jan 2024


FundersFunder number
Joint NSF-BSF2020752
Joint NSFC-ISF3145/19
National Natural Science Foundation of China52103148
Chongqing University


    • amino acids
    • bioinspired materials
    • bionanotechnology
    • minimalistic building blocks
    • nanostructures
    • noncovalent interactions
    • self-assembly
    • supramolecular chemistry


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