Stimuli-responsive polymeric materials have attracted significant attention in a variety of high-value-added and industrial applications during the past decade. Among various stimuli, light is of particular interest as a stimulus because of its unique advantages, such as precisely spatiotemporal control, mild conditions, ease of use, and tunability. In recent years, a lot of effort towards the synthesis of a biocompatible and biodegradable polypeptide has resulted in many examples of photo-responsive nanoparticles. Depending on the specific photochemistry, those polypeptide derived nano-assemblies are capable of crosslinking, disassembling, or morphing into other shapes upon light irradiation. In this mini-review, we aim to assess the current state of photo-responsive polypeptide based nanomaterials. Firstly, those ‘smart’ nanomaterials will be categorized by their photo-triggered events (i.e., crosslinking, degradation, and isomerization), which are inherently governed by photo-sensitive functionalities, including O
-nitrobenzyl, coumarin, azobenzene, cinnamyl, and spiropyran. In addition, the properties and applications of those polypeptide nanomaterials will be highlighted as well. Finally, the current challenges and future directions of this subject will be evaluated.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited