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Nanomaterials 2019, 9(2), 285;

Controlling the Self-Assembly of Biomolecules into Functional Nanomaterials through Internal Interactions and External Stimulations: A Review

Key Laboratory of Preparation and Application of Environmental Friendly Materials (Jilin Normal University), Ministry of Education, Changchun 130103, China
Faculty of Production Engineering, University of Bremen, D-28359 Bremen, Germany
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 13 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 18 February 2019
PDF [5767 KB, uploaded 18 February 2019]


Biomolecular self-assembly provides a facile way to synthesize functional nanomaterials. Due to the unique structure and functions of biomolecules, the created biological nanomaterials via biomolecular self-assembly have a wide range of applications, from materials science to biomedical engineering, tissue engineering, nanotechnology, and analytical science. In this review, we present recent advances in the synthesis of biological nanomaterials by controlling the biomolecular self-assembly from adjusting internal interactions and external stimulations. The self-assembly mechanisms of biomolecules (DNA, protein, peptide, virus, enzyme, metabolites, lipid, cholesterol, and others) related to various internal interactions, including hydrogen bonds, electrostatic interactions, hydrophobic interactions, π–π stacking, DNA base pairing, and ligand–receptor binding, are discussed by analyzing some recent studies. In addition, some strategies for promoting biomolecular self-assembly via external stimulations, such as adjusting the solution conditions (pH, temperature, ionic strength), adding organics, nanoparticles, or enzymes, and applying external light stimulation to the self-assembly systems, are demonstrated. We hope that this overview will be helpful for readers to understand the self-assembly mechanisms and strategies of biomolecules and to design and develop new biological nanostructures or nanomaterials for desired applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: self-assembly; biomolecules; nanostructures; interactions; external stimulations self-assembly; biomolecules; nanostructures; interactions; external stimulations

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Wang, L.; Gong, C.; Yuan, X.; Wei, G. Controlling the Self-Assembly of Biomolecules into Functional Nanomaterials through Internal Interactions and External Stimulations: A Review. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 285.

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