Stereospecific interactions between chiral inorganic nanomaterials and biological systems
Chirality is ubiquitous in nature and plays mysterious and essential roles in maintaining key biological and physiological processes. As biological systems display high selectivity for chiral biomolecules, chiral bio-nanoscience has become a popular research field during the last decade. Homochirality, as an essential attribute of natural compounds (L-amino acids, D-sugars, etc.), inspired the emergence of synthetic chiral nanomaterials, which in turn impacted their biological functions and fates. This review is a comprehensive overview of the interactions between chiral inorganic nanostructures and biosystems. We start with the recent progress in biocompatible chiral nanomaterials and focus on stereospecific biological interactions ranging from enantioselective reactions in applications such as sensing and catalysis to chirality-dependent controllable manipulation of cell behaviours and finally to enantiopure nanoplatforms for improved disease therapy. We also discuss the current challenges and future potential of these chiral nanotechnologies in biomedicine and bioengineering, provide strategies to overcome these barriers and offer a future perspective.