M4. Protein aggregates
Protein molecules can easily be unfolded ("denatured") into chains that then have a strong tendency to aggregate. The aggregation of proteins is generic to the design of many foodstuffs and can also be exploited in creating biocompatible materials such as tissue scaffolds. We are working to establish design principles that will allow us to control: the non-specific self-assembly of proteins and peptides into fibrillar aggregates, fine structured gels and particulate gels; the self-assembly of proteins at fluid-fluid interfaces; the creation of light-harvesting peptide assemblies for possible photovoltaic use.