Amyloid Fibrils as Bionanomaterials
Jared K. Raynes and Juliet A. Gerrard
from: Bionanotechnology: Biological Self-assembly and its Applications (Edited by: Bernd H. A. Rehm). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2013)
It is becoming increasingly clear that nature employs amyloid fibrils in a functional role for a range of processes, from immune responses, to aiding in the colonisation of bacteria. These functional amyloid fibrils have inspired researchers to investigate the potential of amyloid fibrils as novel bionanomaterials. The amyloid fibril structure possesses many features that make it an ideal candidate for use in bionanomaterials. These include: their nanometre size, which gives rise to a high surface-to-volume ratio enabling high loading capacities of decorations on their surface; the ability to self-assemble, which affords a bottom-up approach to material design; the potential to be manufactured from waste materials; and their diverse chemical functionality, arising from their amino acid composition, which allows for decoration with chemicals and biomolecules via amino acid moieties such as amino and sulfur groups. This chapter focuses on the assembly of amyloid fibrils and how these features are enabling their emerging uses as novel bionanomaterials read more ...