Bacteriophages (phages for short) are viruses, which have bacteria as hosts. The single phage body virion, is a colloidal particle, often possessing a dipole moment. As such, phages were used as perfectly monodisperse systems to study various physicochemical phenomena (e.g., transport or sedimentation in complex fluids), or in the material science (e.g., as scaffolds). Nevertheless, phages also execute the life cycle to multiply and produce progeny virions. Upon completion of the life cycle of phages, the host cells are usually destroyed. Natural abilities to bind to and kill bacteria were a starting point for utilizing phages in phage therapies (i.e., medical treatments that use phages to fight bacterial infections) and for bacteria detection. Numerous applications of phages became possible thanks to phage display—a method connecting the phenotype and genotype, which allows for selecting specific peptides or proteins with affinity to a given target. Here, we review the application of bacteriophages in nanoscience, emphasizing bio-related applications, material science, soft matter research, and physical chemistry.
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