This review focuses on recent progress in noncomputational methods to introduce catalytic function into proteins, peptides, and peptide assemblies. We discuss various approaches to creating catalytic activity and classification of noncomputational methods into rational and combinatorial classes. The section on rational design covers recent progress in the development of short peptides and oligomeric peptide assemblies for various natural and unnatural reactions. The section on combinatorial design describes recent advances in the discovery of catalytic peptides. We present the future prospects of these and other new approaches in a broader context, including implications for functional material design.


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