Peptides and Peptide-based Biomaterials and their Biomedical Applications
The ability to design functionalized peptide nanostructures for specific applications is tied to the ability of controlling the morphologies of the self-assembled superstructures. That, in turn, is based on a thorough understanding of the structural and environmental factors affecting self-assembly. The aim of designing self-assembling nanostructures of controlled geometries is achieved via a combination of directional and non-directional second order interactions. If the interactions are distributed in a geometrically defined way, a specific and selective supramolecular self-assembly motif is the result. In this chapter we detail the role of non-covalent interactions on the self-assembly of peptides; we will also discuss different types of peptide building blocks and design rules for engineering unnatural supramolecular structures.