DESIGN OF PEPTIDE-BASED MATERIALS
Peptides are promising building blocks for supramolecular materials for technological applications as they are much simpler structurally than proteins, relatively easy to synthesize, and can be scaled up. The side chain groups of the 20 gene-encoded amino acids provide diverse chemical functionalities including aromatic, basic/acidic, polar, and aliphatic that can interact through various noncovalent intra- and inter-molecular interactions. These interactions result in supramolecular structures that can be designed for a specific functionality. Our objective is to design peptide materials with properties that are similar to those of biological materials including antiviral materials, materials for cell support, conductive and photoprotective materials. By using simple peptide building blocks, we strive to establish the sequence-structure relationships underlying these materials to get a molecular level understanding of how they are built.