Tremendous potential exists for helical polypeptides that are water soluble (ionic) and remain stable at physiological conditions, variable environmental conditions including pH fluctuations, temperature changes, and in the presence of denaturing agents for gene delivery and cell-membrane penetration over commercially available products.
Libraries of helical polypeptides are screened for desired traits, i.e. efficient gene transfection compared to standard transfection reagents.
Dr. Jeffrey Moore along with colleagues at Northwestern University has developed new nonproteinogenic substrates for use in a system that uses genetic reprogramming to create polymers. The system allows translation of polymers using substrates not used for protein synthesis. Presently over 200 substrates have been discovered, Dr. Moore has found over 40 new substrates. This technology allows for the creation of polypeptides and sequence-defined polymers in vitro and in vivo.