Programmable self-assembling protein nanomaterials: Current status and prospects

Kelly Wallin, Ruijie Zhang, Claudia Schmidt-Dannert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Protein-based nanomaterials are increasingly engineered as platforms for applications in biomanufacturing, for biomedical purposes, and as structural and organizational components of new types of living materials. Advances in synthetic biology and computational protein design offer tremendous opportunities for the engineering of new types of protein building blocks that self-assemble autonomously into customizable materials with various morphologies and properties. As proteins are genetically encoded, material production is genetically programmable and can be achieved sustainably with microbial cell factories, or in the future, by using cell-free technologies. An overview will be provided of the different types of self-assembling protein materials currently designed, characterized, and functionalized for a range of applications. Finally, opportunities and challenges for the design of genetically programmable materials that self-organize into new types of hierarchical protein materials with emergent functions will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEngineered Living Materials
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages44
ISBN (Electronic)9783030929497
ISBN (Print)9783030929480
StatePublished - Feb 16 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2022.


  • Biomedical
  • Enzyme immobilization
  • Nanocage
  • Nanocarrier
  • Nanomaterial
  • Protein engineering
  • Protein fiber
  • Protein scaffold
  • Protein self-assembly
  • Synthetic biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Programmable self-assembling protein nanomaterials: Current status and prospects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this