Micro and nano fabrication using self-assembled biological nanostructures
Over the last 2 decades, self-assembled nanostructures based on peptides and proteins have been investigated and presented as biomaterials with an impressive potential to be used in broad spectrum of applications: microfabrication, biosensing platforms, drug delivery systems, bioelectronics, tissue reparation, among others. Several advantages (mild synthesis conditions, relatively simple functionalization, low-cost and fast synthesis) confirm the promise of these biological nanostructures as excellent candidates for such uses.
Through self-assembly, peptides can give rise to a range of well-defined nanostructures such as nanotubes, nanofibers, nanoparticles, nanotapes, gels and nanorods. However, there are several challenges that have yet to be extensively approached and solved. Issues like controlling the size during synthesis, the stability in liquid environments and manipulation have to be confronted when trying to integrate these nanostructures in the development of sensing devices or drug-delivery systems. The fact that these issues present difficulties is reflected in the low number of devices or systems using this material in real applications.
The present module discusses the options and challenges when using self-assembled peptide nanostructures in micro and nano fabrication. The module will include different ways to manipulated, deposite and immobilize on specific locations these biological nanostructures in order to use them in the fabrication of new strutucres or as part of biosensing platforms. The manuscript will be complemented with selected examples where researchers used biological nanostructures for the mentioned applications. The module concludes with a discussion about future applications and parameters to accelerate and expand the use of these biological building blocks in nano and micro fabrication processes by taking advantage of their impressive properties. This module will be of great interest to researchers looking for new materials easy to fabricate, with a low-cost and short synthesis time.
Engineers and scientist working with biological materials or in biomedical or chemical engineering or in biochemistry; scientists doing research in the areas of biomaterials, cell handling, bionanotechnology, drug delivery, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine; nanotechnology students