Protein biohybrids to be used as the base of novel materials

Even though nature is responsible for advancing a wide range of operations through the selection and evolution process, many of them still remain pending or unparalleled by current science. To keep up with these demands, a new field has materialized. This is based on biohybrid materials focused on researching the combination of biomolecules and synthetic systems, developing a novel functional material.

Of the couple of existing biomolecules’ families, proteins are the ones which are the most resourceful biomacromolecules having recognition, operational, transport, and catalytic purposes.

As a matter of fact, the particular assemblage of proteins paves way for the most intriguing observances. These include greatly proficient light-harvesting systems. Because of this, the vastly promising material has managed to attract cross-disciplinary attention from biologists, chemists, and material scientists.

The Aalto University-based Biohybrids Materials team, in their WIREs Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology article, assembled the most relevant researches in supramolecular protein assemblage. Relative to other kinds of protein assemblies, this particular field present numerous benefits. These include structures and functions high variability on the basis of resisted number of building blocks, little to no protein modification, and reversibility of assembly making way for responsive products.

Authors of the article grouped the assemblies dealing with the built of the composing protein scaffold, comprising of spherical cages which pull together as 3D crystals, and rod-like virus (toroidal proteins) which pull together as 2D arrays or group into 1D fibers.

It is important to note that the proteins assembly in its nanoscale moves to the micro and macroscale, thus establishing the features of the material.

The biohybrids exhibit favorable characteristics coming from the original protein, or the co-crystallization agent, or some of both.

These kinds of composites devised from a bioinspired point-of-view are very likely to raise and broaden the present group of functional materials.