This tutorial review looks at the design rules that allow peptides to be exploited as building blocks for the assembly of nanomaterials. These design rules are either derived by copying nature (alpha-helix, beta-sheet) or may exploit entirely new designs based on peptide derivatives (peptide amphiphiles, pi-stacking systems). We will examine the features that can be introduced to allow self-assembly to be controlled and directed by application of an externally applied stimulus, such as pH, light or enzyme action. Lastly the applications of designed self-assembly peptide systems in biotechnology (3D cell culture, biosensing) and technology (nanoelectronics, templating) will be examined.
- peptide based nanomaterials