On the limited recognition of inorganic surfaces by short peptides compared with antibodies

Arbel Artzy-Schnirman, Enas Abu-Shah, Matan Dishon, Hadas Soifer, Yotam Sivan, Yoram Reiter, Itai Benhar, Uri Sivan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The vast potential applications of biomolecules that bind inorganic surfaces led mostly to the isolation of short peptides that target selectively specific materials. The demonstrated differential affinity toward certain surfaces created the impression that the recognition capacity of short peptides may match that of rigid biomolecules. In the following, we challenge this view by comparing the capacity of antibody molecules to discriminate between the (100) and (111A) facets of a gallium arsenide semiconductor crystal with the capacity of short peptides to do the same. Applying selection from several peptide and single chain phage display libraries, we find a number of antibody molecules that bind preferentially a given crystal facet but fail to isolate, in dozens of attempts, a single peptide capable of such recognition. The experiments underscore the importance of rigidity to the recognition of inorganic flat targets and therefore set limitations on potential applications of short peptides in biomimetics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-450
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Peptide Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • antibody binding to inorganic surface
  • biomimic
  • molecular recognition
  • peptide binding to inorganic surface
  • phage display


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