Microscopic characterization of peptide nanostructures
Peptide-based nanomaterials have been utilized for various applications from regenerative medicine to electronics since they provide several advantages including easy synthesis methods, numerous routes for functionalization and biomimicry of secondary structures of proteins which leads to design of self-assembling peptide molecules to form nanostructures. Microscopic characterization at nanoscale is critical to understand processes directing peptide molecules to self-assemble and identify structure-function relationship of the nanostructures. Here, fundamental studies in microscopic characterization of peptide nanostructures are discussed to provide insights in widely used microscopy tools. In this review, we will encompass characterization studies of peptide nanostructures with modern microscopes, such as TEM, SEM, AFM, and advanced optical microscopy techniques. We will also mention specimen preparation methods and describe interpretation of the images. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.