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

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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.
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Keywords: Chirality; D-Amino acids; Enantiomers; Heterochiral; Hydrogels; Nanomaterials; Peptides; Self-assembly

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2016

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