Peptide and Protein Hydrogels
Peptide and protein hydrogels constitute an important class of biomaterials with applications as tissue engineering scaffolds, cell culture matrices, drug delivery vehicles and biosensors. Over the past twenty years, this field has advanced from fundamental studies of peptide self-assembly to the rational design of smart materials with well-defined biological activities and mechanical properties. The development and characterization of new peptide protein hydrogels continues to be an important endeavor at the interface of biology and materials science. In this chapter, we describe hydrogels from nanofibrous assemblies of oligopeptides, artificial and biomimetic recombinant proteins, and hybrid materials combining peptides and proteins with synthetic polymers.