The Unexpected Advantages of Using D-Amino Acids for Peptide Self- Assembly into Nanostructured Hydrogels for Medicine


Michele Melchionna, Katie E. Styan and Silvia MarchesanPages 2009-2018 (10)


Self-assembled peptide hydrogels have brought innovation to the medicinal field, not only as responsive biomaterials but also as nanostructured therapeutic agents or as smart drug delivery systems. D-amino acids are typically introduced to increase the peptide enzymatic stability. However, there are several reports of unexpected effects on peptide conformation, self-assembly behavior, cytotoxicity and even therapeutic activity. This mini-review discusses all the surprising twists of heterochiral self-assembled peptide hydrogels, and delineates emerging key findings to exploit all the benefits of D-amino acids in this novel medicinal area.


Chirality, D-Amino acids, Enantiomers, Heterochiral, Hydrogels, Nanomaterials, Peptides, Self-assembly.


Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Trieste, 34127 Trieste, Italy.

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