Self-assembly of short peptides for nanotechnological applications

Ehud Gazit*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The self-association of molecules to form nanoscale assemblies is a key element in bottom-up nanotechnological design. Biomolecules represent a unique case of self-assembling modules because of their inherent biological specificity. Such specificity can mediate precise molecular recognition processes that lead to the formation of well ordered nanoscale structures from very simple building blocks. Furthermore, the biochemical nature of the biomolecules facilitates a variety of chemical and biological modifications that allow the formation of highly functional self-assembled material. In this review, we will focus on the properties of natural and designed self-associating short peptide fragments. This class of biomolecules is of special interest as a result of its large chemical diversity, small size, biocompatibility, and simple synthesis in large amounts. The peptides may contain any of the natural amino acids but also hundreds of nonnatural ones, which results in matchless chemical diversity and remarkable molecular properties. The rationale of the selection and design of the peptides, as well as the mechanism of molecular recognition and self-assembly that includes hydrophobic, electrostatic, and aromatic interactions, are described. Moreover, specific applications that include biomaterial fabrication, cell-support scaffold preparation, biomineralization, and bio-inorganic patterning and composite formation are reviewed. Finally, future prospects for the use of peptide-based nanoscale assemblies are described.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNanoBioTechnology
Subtitle of host publicationBioInspired Devices and Materials of the Future
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781588298942
StatePublished - 2008


  • Nanotechnology
  • bio-inspired assembly
  • molecular recognition
  • peptide building blocks
  • peptide nanospheres
  • peptide nanotubes
  • self-assembly


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-assembly of short peptides for nanotechnological applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this