Materials assembly and formation using engineered polypeptides

Sarikaya M., Tamerler C., Schwartz D., Baneyx F.

ANNUAL REVIEW OF MATERIALS RESEARCH, vol.34, pp.373-408, 2004 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Molecular biomimetics can be defined as mimicking function, synthesis, or structure of materials and systems at the molecular scale using biological pathways. Here, inorganic-binding polypeptides are used as molecular building blocks to control assembly and formation of functional inorganic and hybrid materials and systems for nano- and nanobiotechnology applications. These polypeptides are selected via phage or cell surface display technologies and modified by molecular biology to tailor their binding and multifunctionality properties. The potential of this approach in creating new materials systems with useful physical and biological properties is enormous. This mostly stems from molecular recognition and self-assembly characteristics of the polypeptides plus the added advantage of genetic manipulation of their composition and structure. In this review, we highlight the basic premises of molecular biomimetics, describe the approaches in selecting and engineering inorganic-binding polypeptides, and present examples of their utility as molecular linkers in current and future applications.