Biophysical Reviews

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 847–852 | Cite as

Ionic liquids in protein amyloidogenesis: a brief screenshot of the state-of-the-art

  • Visakh V. S. Pillai
  • Antonio BenedettoEmail author
Letter to the Editor


Ionic liquids (ILs) are a vast class of organic non-aqueous electrolytes whose interaction with biomolecules is receiving great attention for potential applications in bio-nano-technology. Recently, it has been shown that ILs can affect protein amyloidogenesis. Whereas some ILs favour the aggregation of proteins into amyloids, others inhibit their formation. Moreover, ILs can dissolve mature fibrils and restore the protein biochemical function. In this letter, we present a brief state-of-the-art summary of this emerging field that holds the promise of important developments both in basic science and in applications from bio-medicine to material science, and bio-nano-technology. The huge variety of ILs offers a vast playground for future studies and potential applications.



The authors thank Prof. Pietro Ballone for fruitful discussions. A.B. acknowledges the additional support provided by the School of Physics and the School of Chemistry, University College Dublin, Ireland, and the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering, Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland.


A.B. receives support from the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) under the Starting Investigator Research Grant 15-SIRG-3538.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

Visakh VS Pillai declares that he has no conflict of interest. Antonio Benedetto declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB) and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PhysicsUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  2. 2.Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical ResearchUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  3. 3.School of ChemistryUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  4. 4.Laboratory for Neutron ScatteringPaul Scherrer InstitutVilligenSwitzerland

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