Proposal/Contract no:
STRP 033256

What is BeNatural?


Protein and peptide fibers, nanotubes, and other nanoscale assemblies are considered to be candidate building blocks for a wide range of applications. These biocompatible and water soluble nanoassemblies 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 nanoassemblies have thermal and chemical stability that allowed their integration into fabricated devices. Protein and peptide nano-structures were also demonstrated to serve as part of electrochemical biosensor platforms. Moreover, some peptide structures are remarkably rigid assemblies that allow advanced composite material applications.

BeNatural is an interdisciplinary effort to explore the molecular arrangement and the biochemical and biophysical properties of bionanostructures using advanced biophysical techniques. An integrated approach is proposed for the development and characterization of novel building blocks that may offer advanced structural and biological properties based on a combination of our structural insights of the assembly process as well as novel non-natural amino acid analogues and modifying groups. Finally the ability of the bio-nanostructures to serve as superior building blocks for the fabrication of biosensor arrays and for tissue engineering properties will be studied. The consortium believes that this application offers a unique interdisciplinary approach that will allow much advancement of the research into the properties of bionanoassemblies, will result in the identification of novel building bocks as well as practical integration strategies, and will materialize into true application for the benefit of the society.
©2006 BeNatural