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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 hasdoi:10.1098/rsta.2015.0138 pmid:27298432 fatcat:hi4vdgplsffslfujbmzpmjhbpy