The physical properties of supramolecular peptide assemblies: from building block association to technological applications†
Bio-inspired nano-materials can be formed by the ordered assembly of elementary building blocks using recognition modules and structural elements. Among the biological sources, peptides and proteins are of special interest due to their role as major structural elements in all living systems, ranging from bacteria to humans in a continuum of magnitudes, from the nano-scale to the macro-scale. Peptides, as short as dipeptides, contain all the molecular information needed to form well-ordered structures at the nano-scale. Here, in light of the significant advancements in the field of peptide nanostructures in the last few years, we provide an updated overview of this subject. The use of these nanostructures was indeed recently demonstrated in various fields including the design of molecular motors based on nanostructure complexation with a metal–organic framework, the delivery of therapeutic agents, the development of energy storage devices and the fabrication of piezoelectric-based sensors.