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New Functions Emerging from Peptide–DNA Materials

Chapter 14 of Peptide-Based Biomaterials


A new class of hybrid biomaterials has recently evolved from the combination of peptides and DNA. In this chapter, we survey the unique systems and properties made possible by merging the bioactivity and mechanical properties of peptides with the programmability and reversibility of DNA. We explore peptide–DNA probes and switches, peptide-decorated DNA scaffolds and DNA-decorated peptide structures. We illustrate the rich variety of architectures made from the interplay of orthogonal peptide and DNA assembly motifs in cooperative assemblies, with examples of peptide-directed or DNA-directed hybrid structures. We present systems with hierarchical organization and dynamic assembly, presenting fascinating emergent properties made possible by peptide–DNA combinations. Finally, we discuss the future possibilities and open challenges presented by this intriguing class of hybrid biomaterials.

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