Metal and metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs) have many uses, and the size, shape and purity of the NPs must be uniform to ensure that the particles function in a known and consistent manner. The synthesis of uniform NPs usually requires high temperatures, high pressures, and harsh chemical reagents, which is both economically and environmentally costly. In nature, biomineralisation is used to produce precise, pure NPs, using far milder reaction conditions and reagents. Recently, a bioinspired approach has been adopted to produce NPs using proteins and peptides that: occur in nature; are artificially selected from a random peptide library by biopanning; or are rationally designed to control NP formation under mild conditions. Here we highlight the recent advances in metal and metal oxide NP binding and synthesis using proteins and peptides. We then investigate bioinspired patterning of NPs onto surfaces. This is done to demonstrate the possible avenues available to develop environmentally friendly, biotemplated devices and nanotechnologies in the future.
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