Background: The development of modern nanomedicine greatly depends on the involvement
of novel materials as drug delivery system. In order to maximize the therapeutic effects
of drugs and minimize their side effects, a number of natural or synthetic materials have been widely
investigated for drug delivery. Among these materials, biomimetic self-assembling peptides (SAPs)
have received more attention in recent years. Considering the rapidly growing number of SAPs designed
for drug delivery, a summary of how SAPs-based drug delivery systems were designed,
would be beneficial.
Method: We outlined research works on different SAPs that have been investigated as carriers for
different drugs, focusing on the design of SAPs nanomaterials and how they were used for drug
delivery in different strategies.
Results: Based on the principle rules of chemical complementarity and structural compatibility,
SAPs such as ionic self-complementary peptide, peptide amphiphile and surfactant-like peptide
could be designed. Determined by the features of peptide materials and the drugs to be delivered,
different strategies such as hydrogel embedding, hydrophobic interaction, electrostatic interaction,
covalent conjugation or the combination of them could be employed to fabricate SAPs-drug complex,
which could achieve slow release, targeted or environment-responsive delivery of drugs. Furthermore,
some SAPs could also be combined with other types of materials for drug delivery, or
even act as drug by themselves.
Conclusion: Various types of SAPs have been designed and used for drug delivery following various
strategies, suggesting that SAPs as a category of versatile nanomaterials have promising potential
in the field of nanomedicine.