Self-assembling peptide-based building blocks in medical applications

Handan Acar, Samanvaya Srivastava, Eun Ji Chung, Mathew R. Schnorenberg, John C. Barrett, James L. LaBelle, Matthew Tirrell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


Peptides and peptide-conjugates, comprising natural and synthetic building blocks, are an increasingly popular class of biomaterials. Self-assembled nanostructures based on peptides and peptide-conjugates offer advantages such as precise selectivity and multifunctionality that can address challenges and limitations in the clinic. In this review article, we discuss recent developments in the design and self-assembly of various nanomaterials based on peptides and peptide-conjugates for medical applications, and categorize them into two themes based on the driving forces of molecular self-assembly. First, we present the self-assembled nanostructures driven by the supramolecular interactions between the peptides, with or without the presence of conjugates. The studies where nanoassembly is driven by the interactions between the conjugates of peptide-conjugates are then presented. Particular emphasis is given to in vivo studies focusing on therapeutics, diagnostics, immune modulation and regenerative medicine. Finally, challenges and future perspectives are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-79
Number of pages15
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
StatePublished - Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


  • Medicine
  • Peptide
  • Peptide-conjugates
  • Self-assembly
  • Supramolecular


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