Artificial repetitive polypeptides have grown in popularity as a bioinspired alternative to synthetic polymers. The genetically encoded synthesis, monodispersity, potential lack of toxicity, and biocompatibility are attractive features of these biopolymers for biological applications. Elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) are one such class of biopolymers that are of particular interest because of their “smart”—stimuli responsive—properties. Herein, we discuss the genetically encoded design and recombinant synthesis of ELPs that enable precise control of their physicochemical properties and which have led to a wide range of biomedical applications of these biopolymers in the last decade. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers (Pept Sci) 94:60–77, 2010.
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