SYM-23-03

Short peptides for natural, synthetic and engineered functionality

SL Gras1,2,3

  1. Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia 3010
  2. Bio21 Molecular Science & Biotechnology Institute, The University of Melbourne, 30 Flemington Road, Parkville, Victoria, Australia 3010
  3. The ARC Dairy Innovation Hub, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia 3010

We are interested in the design, synthesis and application of short hydrophobic peptides for use as materials. Our building blocks include naturally secreted and surface active peptides that assist bacterial growth by forming biofilms. Other de novo designed synthetic peptides assemble to form β-sheet rich fibers, this process can be nucleated using synthetic DNA molecules, known as DNA origami, to create larger self-organizing synthetic structures. A further area of interest is the design of enzyme responsive materials that combine naturally occurring and engineered functionality to release short functional peptides with anti-inflammatory properties that can promote the healing of human tissues. We are also interested in better understanding whether such materials can be compatible with mammalian cells and the features that determine whether they are toxic or biocompatible.