Protein and peptide fibres, nanotubes, and other nanoscale assemblies are considered to be candidate building blocks for a wide range of applications. These biocompatible and water-soluble nano-assemblies are formed under mild conditions and are inexpensive and easy to manufacture. Their properties can be modulated by simple chemical modification in the case of peptide structures or by genetic engineering in the case of the protein assemblies. They are also able to serve as a mold for the fabrication of conductive nanowires. Furthermore, some biological nano-assemblies have thermal and chemical stability allowing their integration into fabricated devices.
Protein and peptide nano-structures were also shown to be important parts of electrochemical biosensor platforms. Moreover, some peptide structures are remarkably rigid assemblies allowing advanced composite material applications. BeNatural proposes a joint interdisciplinary effort to explore the molecular arrangement and the biochemical and biophysical properties of bio nano-structures using advanced biophysical techniques. It also adopts an integrated approach for the development and characterization of novel building blocks that will offer advanced structural and biological properties based on a combination of both new structural insights of the assembly process and novel non-natural amino acid analogues and modifying groups.
BeNatural will also evaluate the ability of the bio-nanostructures as superior building blocks for application in bio sensing and tissue engineering. The project offers a unique interdisciplinary and complex approach that will allow great progress of the research into the properties of bio nano-assemblies, it will result in novel building bocks as well as practical integration strategies, and will materialize into real applications for the benefit of the society.
- FP6-NMP - Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices: thematic priority 3 under the 'Focusing and integrating community research' of the 'Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area' specific programme 2002-2006.
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project