Self-assembling peptides and their application in the treatment of diseases

Sungeun Lee, Trang H.T. Trinh, Miryeong Yoo, Junwu Shin, Hakmin Lee, Jaehyeon Kim, Euimin Hwang, Yong Beom Lim, Chongsuk Ryou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)


Self-assembling peptides are biomedical materials with unique structures that are formed in response to various environmental conditions. Governed by their physicochemical characteristics, the peptides can form a variety of structures with greater reactivity than conventional non-biological materials. The structural divergence of self-assembling peptides allows for various functional possibilities; when assembled, they can be used as scaffolds for cell and tissue regeneration, and vehicles for drug delivery, conferring controlled release, stability, and targeting, and avoiding side effects of drugs. These peptides can also be used as drugs themselves. In this review, we describe the basic structure and characteristics of self-assembling peptides and the various factors that affect the formation of peptide-based structures. We also summarize the applications of self-assembling peptides in the treatment of various diseases, including cancer. Furthermore, the in-cell self-assembly of peptides, termed reverse self-assembly, is discussed as a novel paradigm for self-assembling peptide-based nanovehicles and nanomedicines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5850
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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