Peptide amphiphiles are a class of molecules that combine the structural features of amphiphilic surfactants with the functions of bioactive peptides and are known to assemble into a variety of nanostructures. A specific type of peptide amphiphiles are known to self-assemble into one-dimensional nanostructures under physiological conditions, predominantly nanofibers with a cylindrical geometry. The resultant nanostructures could be highly bioactive and are of great interest in many biomedical applications, including tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and drug delivery. In this context, we highlight our strategies for using molecular self-assembly as a toolbox to produce peptide amphiphile nanostructures and materials and efforts to translate this technology into applications as therapeutics. We also review our recent progress in using these materials for treating spinal cord injury, inducing angiogenesis, and for hard tissue regeneration and replacement. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers (Pept Sci) 94:1–18, 2010.
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