Peptide Engineering

Peptide framework for screening the effects of amino acids on assembly

Seren Hamsici, Andrew D. White, and Handan Acar

Discovery of peptide domains with unique intermolecular interactions is essential for engineering peptide-based materials. Rather than attempting a brute-force approach, we instead identify a previously unexplored strategy for discovery and study of intermolecular interactions: “co-assembly of oppositely charged peptide” (CoOP), a framework that “encourages” peptide assembly by mixing two oppositely charged hexapeptides. We used an integrated computational and experimental approach, probed the free energy of association and probability of amino acid contacts during co-assembly with atomic-resolution simulations, and correlated them to the physical properties of the aggregates. Read more...

Drug Delivery Applications of Peptide Materials

Seren Hamsici, Gokhan Gunay, Hande Kirit, Advika Kamatar, Kendrick Loving, and Handan Acar

Peptides play an essential role in biotechnological applications as therapeutic and diagnostic agents due to their tunable activity for the desired function. So far, a variety of peptide therapeutics and their peptide-based carriers have been engineered for drug delivery applications. However, in order to design and develop such systems for tissue-specific applications, the cellular microenvironment must be properly considered. Peptide-based materials have vast potential applications, particularly for cancer-related systems. Thus, in this chapter, we first focus on different design strategies and considerations for drug-release mechanisms in peptide-based materials. Then, we explain how tumor microenvironments may be distinguished from healthy tissue, including a discussion of tumor-specific drug delivery strategies. Finally, the growing significance of peptide chemotherapeutics will be emphasized in terms of design concerns and current applications. Read more...