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Pure Appl. Chem., 2011, Vol. 83, No. 1, pp. 111-125

Published online 2010-11-19

Biomimetic synthesis of inorganic materials and their applications*

Yujing Li, Chin-Yi Chiu and Yu Huang

Department of Materials Science and Engineering and California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

Abstract: Mimicking the evolution processes of Nature, the combinatorial approach to biomolecular recognition properties attracts much attention due to the potential as a generic scheme to achieving complex material structures and hierarchical assemblies with molecular precision from the bottom up. In this paper, some recent efforts in the biomimetic synthesis of inorganic materials are reviewed, with emphasis placed on in vitro material formation with the use of protein/peptide molecules found in natural organisms as well as those with specific affinities to inorganic materials selected through the molecular evolution process. The applications of material-specific peptides and proteins in sensing and guiding hierarchical material assembly are also briefly discussed at the end.
*Pure Appl. Chem. 83, 1–252 (2011). A collection of invited, peer-reviewed articles by former winners of the IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists, in celebration of the International Year of Chemistry 2011.