Biomaterial design relies on controlling interactions between materials and their biological environments to modulate the functions of proteins, cells, and tissues. Phage display is a powerful tool that can be used to discover peptide sequences with high affinity for a desired target. When incorporated into biomaterial design, peptides identified via phage display can functionalize material surfaces to control the interaction between a biomaterial and its local microenvironment. A targeting peptide has high specificity for a given target, allowing for homing a specific protein, cell, tissue, or other material to a biomaterial. A functional peptide has an affinity for a given protein, cell, or tissue, but also modulates its target’s activity upon binding. Biomaterials can be further enhanced using a combination of targeting and/or functional peptides to create dual-functional peptides for bridging two targets or modulating the behavior of a specific protein or cell. This review will examine current and future applications of phage display for the augmentation of biomaterials.
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