Biologically inspired peptide- and protein-based materials are at the forefront of organic bioelectronics research due to their inherent conduction properties and excellent biocompatibility. Peptides have the advantages of structural simplicity and ease of synthesis providing credible prospects for mass production, whereas naturally expressed proteins offer inspiration with many examples of high performance evolutionary optimised bioelectronics properties. We review recent advances in the fundamental conduction mechanisms, experimental techniques and exemplar applications for the bioelectronics of self-assembling peptides and proteins. Diverse charge transfer processes, such as tunnelling, hopping and coupled transfer, are found in naturally occurring biological systems with peptides and proteins as the predominant building blocks to enable conduction in biology. Both theory and experiments allow detailed investigation of bioelectronic properties in order to design functionalized peptide- and protein-based biomaterials, e.g. to create biocompatible aqueous electrodes. We also highlight the design of bioelectronics devices based on peptides/proteins including field-effect transistors, piezoelectric energy harvesters and optoelectronics.
- Conducting peptides
- Conduction mechanism