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Protein Nanotubes: From Bionanotech towards Medical Applications

Department of Chemistry and the Centre for Research on Biomolecular Interactions, York University, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada
Patent Law Department, Bawa Biotech LLC, Ashburn, VA 20147, USA
Guanine Inc., Rensselaer, NY 12144-3463, USA
Pharmaceutical Research Institute of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Albany, NY 12208, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Structural Biology Program, Rockefeller Research Labs, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA.
Biomedicines 2019, 7(2), 46;
Received: 6 May 2019 / Revised: 18 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 23 June 2019
PDF [2993 KB, uploaded 23 June 2019]


Nanobiotechnology involves the study of structures found in nature to construct nanodevices for biological and medical applications with the ultimate goal of commercialization. Within a cell most biochemical processes are driven by proteins and associated macromolecular complexes. Evolution has optimized these protein-based nanosystems within living organisms over millions of years. Among these are flagellin and pilin-based systems from bacteria, viral-based capsids, and eukaryotic microtubules and amyloids. While carbon nanotubes (CNTs), and protein/peptide-CNT composites, remain one of the most researched nanosystems due to their electrical and mechanical properties, there are many concerns regarding CNT toxicity and biodegradability. Therefore, proteins have emerged as useful biotemplates for nanomaterials due to their assembly under physiologically relevant conditions and ease of manipulation via protein engineering. This review aims to highlight some of the current research employing protein nanotubes (PNTs) for the development of molecular imaging biosensors, conducting wires for microelectronics, fuel cells, and drug delivery systems. The translational potential of PNTs is highlighted. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanobiotechnology; protein nanotubes (PNTs); protein engineering; self-assembly; nanowires; drug delivery; imaging agents; biosensors nanobiotechnology; protein nanotubes (PNTs); protein engineering; self-assembly; nanowires; drug delivery; imaging agents; biosensors

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Audette, G.F.; Yaseen, A.; Bragagnolo, N.; Bawa, R. Protein Nanotubes: From Bionanotech towards Medical Applications. Biomedicines 2019, 7, 46.

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