Team:Slovenia/Prospects and vision.html



Next steps

We have demonstrated the feasibility of the underlying ideas by proving the concept on selected examples. Particularly structural characterization and characterization of other properties of the assembled structures will require additional controls but the experimental results that we have obtained so far seem to us very encouraging.

The Vision

Imagine that we could achieve the level of miniaturization, precision, error correction, energetic efficiency and sustainability of natural processes in manufacturing materials and devices that we use every day, such as electronic devices, cars, buildings and other gadgets that we use.

Creation of polyhedra and different types of lattices is the first step towards building even more complex structures that may not require high symmetry. Now nanoscale scaffolds in combination with positioning selected side chains be used in a variety of different applications, but unrestricted by the evolution and limited only by our knowledge and imagination.

Some of the applications that we can imagine in the near future:

- polypeptides can form nano-cages for delivery of molecules such as drugs (proteins or smaller compounds), dyes,

- advanced biomaterials for cell growth and tissue modeling/regeneration based on combinations of different functional proteins that can be selected from the library,

- separation devices that can separate molecules according to many different properties,

- biosensors, where we can separate the analyzed molecules according to their size or we can attach functional groups imparting specific interactions.

We have demonstrated structure and properties of isolated protein, however we can imagine that those polypeptides may be able to self-assemble within or at the surface of living cells and provide some health benefits, such as attachment of different targets, interface with nanosensors, etc.

Assembly of nanostructures can be performed in one pot, however sequential addition of polypeptide chains could be used to extend the possible combinations of polypeptide assembly even further.

[think outside the box!]

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