Nanotechnology meets biology: Peptide-based methods for the fabrication of functional materials

Beverly D. Briggs, Marc R. Knecht

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Nature exploits sustainable methods for the creation of inorganic materials on the nanoscale for a variety of applications. To achieve such capabilities, biomolecules such as peptides and proteins have been developed that recognize and bind the different compositions of materials. While a diverse set of materials binding sequences are present in the biosphere, biocombinatorial techniques have been used to rapidly identify peptides that facilitate the formation of new materials of technological importance. Interestingly, the binding motif of the peptides at the inorganic surface is likely to control the size, structure, composition, shape, and functionality of the final materials. In order to advance these intriguing new biomimetic approaches, a complete understanding of this biotic/abiotic interface is required. In this Perspective, we highlight recent advances in the biofunctionalization of nanoparticles with potential applications ranging from catalysis and energy storage to plasmonics and biosensing. We specifically focus on the physical characterization of the peptide-based surface from which specificity and activity are likely embedded.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-418
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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