Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 April 2019
Protein-based materials are a powerful instrument for a new generation of biological materials, with many chemical and mechanical capabilities. Through the manipulation of DNA, researchers can design proteins at the molecular level, engineering a vast array of structural building blocks. However, our capability to rationally design and predict the properties of such materials is limited by the vastness of possible sequence space. Directed evolution has emerged as a powerful tool to improve biological systems through mutation and selection, presenting another avenue to produce novel protein materials. In this prospective review, we discuss the application of directed evolution for protein materials, reviewing current examples and developments that could facilitate the evolution of protein for material applications.