Self-assembly of small peptide amphiphiles, the structures formed and their applications. (A foods and home and personal care perspective)

W. J. Frith
2016 Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences  
In this opinion piece, some specific challenges in the field of peptide self-assembly and gel formation are discussed. One major hurdle to finding functional small peptides is that there are a huge number of compounds to explore, which increases exponentially with the peptide size. This in itself creates a barrier to the discovery and application of materials, both through the difficulty of finding the peptides, and because protecting inventions also becomes more difficult. Recent work has
more » ... that computer simulations may provide us a route to explore such a huge compound space; this is discussed along with the prospect for future developments. At the microscopic scale, many fibril-forming peptides form gels, apparently through a process of lateral association of primary self-assembled filaments, which leads to a relatively coarse-grained structure of rigid interconnects. However, recent data obtained on Fmoc-tyrosine gels appear to indicate that the gel microstructure is both more flexible and finer grained than previously believed. As such, it is clear that there is a considerable amount that is still not understood regarding this class of gel.
doi:10.1098/rsta.2015.0138 pmid:27298432 fatcat:hi4vdgplsffslfujbmzpmjhbpy