Multifunctional Materials through Modular Protein Engineering
ABSTRACT The diversity of potential applications for protein-engineered materials has undergone profound recent expansion through a rapid increase in the library of domains that have been utilized in these materials. Historically, protein-engineered biomaterials have been generated from a handful of peptides that were selected and exploited for their naturally evolved functionalities. In recent years, the scope of the field has drastically expanded to include peptide domains that were designed through computational modeling, identified through high-throughput screening, or repurposed from wild type domains to perform functions distinct from their primary native applications. The strategy of exploiting a diverse library of peptide domains to design modular block copolymers enables the synthesis of multifunctional protein-engineered materials with a range of customizable properties and activities. As the diversity of peptide domains utilized in modular protein engineering continues to expand, a tremendous and ever-growing combinatorial expanse of material functionalities will result.
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ABSTRACT: Protein-based hydrogels are promising materials for tissue engineering and drug delivery due to the unique properties of proteins such as perfect polydispersity, exact control over monomer sequence, ability to fine-tune molecular-level biochemical interactions, etc. This tutorial review summarizes recent progress on the preparation of protein-based hydrogels and their applications. Typically, we introduce two strategies of covalent and non-covalent ones for the preparation of hydrogels. Hydrogels prepared by the covalent strategy are stable and can respond to the conformational change of proteins. They can be applied for cells encapsulation, screening of drug molecules and heavy metals, etc. Hydrogels formed by non-covalent interactions are injectable physical hydrogels. The simple mixing preparation strategy and fast gelation kinetics guarantee the homogeneous encapsulation of cells and therapeutic agents within them. Therefore, they have been widely applied for the delivery of bioactive components, regenerative medicine, etc. The challenges that remained in this field are also summarized in this paper. We envision that rationally designed protein-based hydrogels will have broad applications in many areas including controlled delivery, tissue engineering, drug screening, etc.Chemical Society Reviews 11/2012; 42(3). DOI:10.1039/c2cs35358j · 30.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cells respond to their environment in complex and sometimes poorly understood ways. Protein, peptide and synthetic peptidomimetic ligands may all be used to stimulate cells via receptor signaling, using interactions that are often highly specific. Polymer substrates that present these ligands provide a promising way to control cell development, both for applications in biotechnology and for fundamental studies of cell biology. Here we review a large range of techniques that have been employed to create and characterize ligand-functionalized substrates, with a particular focus on techniques that allow specific and consistent stimulation.Progress in Polymer Science 01/2013; 39(7). DOI:10.1016/j.progpolymsci.2013.11.006 · 26.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The hierarchical structure-dependent function of self-assembling proteins regulates the biochemical and mechanical functions of cells, tissues, and organs. These multi-scale properties make proteins desirable candidates for novel supramolecular materials that require tailored properties and customizable functions. The ability to translate molecular domains of proteins into the bulk production of conformable materials, such as textiles, is restricted by the current limitations in fabrication technologies and the finite abundance of protein starting material. We will review the common features of self-assembling proteins, including their structure-dependent mechanical properties and how these characteristics have inspired techniques for manufacturing protein-based textiles. These technologies coupled with recent advances in recombinant protein synthesis enable the bulk production of fibers and fabrics that emulate the hierarchical function of natural protein networks.04/2013; 1(1). DOI:10.1166/jcbi.2013.1009