Emerging concepts in the construction of nanostructures hold immense potential in the areas of drug delivery and targeting. Such nanoscopic assemblies/structures, similar to natural proteins and self-associating systems, may lead to the formation of programmable soft structures with expanded drug delivery options and the capability to circumvent first-pass metabolism. This article aims to illustrate key recent developments and innovative bioinspired design paradigms pertaining to peptide-containing self-assembled tubular and vesicular soft structures. Soft structures are composed of components that self-assemble to reveal diverse morphologies stabilized by weak, noncovalent interactions. Morphological properties of such structures and their ability to encapsulate drugs, biologicals and bioactive small molecules, with the promise of targeted delivery, are discussed. © 2007 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.