Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Programmable materials find strength in molecular repetition

Digital Image Correlation shows fracture of a synthethic protein sample.

Image: Reginald Hamilton / Penn State
Digital Image Correlation shows fracture of a synthethic protein sample.

Image: Reginald Hamilton / Penn State

Abstract:
Synthetic proteins based on those found in a variety of squid species' ring teeth may lead the way to self-healing polymers carefully constructed for specific toughness and stretchability that might have applications in textiles, cosmetics and medicine, according to Penn State researchers.



Short repetitive protein vs. long repetitive protein

Credit:Melik Demirel / Penn State

Programmable materials find strength in molecular repetition

University Park, PA | Posted on May 23rd, 2016

"We looked at what is common among squid teeth proteins for all species of squid we studied," said Abdon Pena-Francesch, graduate student in engineering science and mechanics. "We observed which properties changed dramatically for each set of proteins."

Huihun Jung, a Ph.D. student in Melik Demirel's lab group, looked at four squid species from around the world -- Hawaiian bobtail squid, long-finned squid, European squid and Japanese flying squid.

"It was a mystery why nature uses more than one protein to make the ring teeth in the suckers," said Demirel, professor of engineering science and mechanics. "Why did we need so many? It turns out that each has different mechanical properties."

The proteins in ring teeth are semicrystalline, a combination of crystalline and amorphous pieces. The natural proteins also have varying repeats, amino acid strings that repeat themselves once or many times. These repeats alter the lengths of the protein. However, a clear understanding of the function of these repeats was not known.

After sequencing the various squid proteins, the researchers put together a variety of synthetic ring teeth proteins with varying numbers of repeats. They report their results in the current online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"There has been a lot of work done making structures to mimic proteins," said Demirel, who is also a member of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. "People have looked at the structure of proteins in silk, the elastin in skin, the resilin in insect wings and collagen in a large set of structures, but no one has looked at squid in this way. Squid mimics have not been done before."

Together with Benjamin Allen, research associate in biochemistry and molecular biology and the Huck Institutes, the Demirel group made varying lengths of amino acid strings -- polypeptides -- and found that in the synthetic material, toughness and extensibility increase as the molecular weight increases. The longer the polypeptide chain, the greater the molecular weight. They also found that the balance between elasticity -- how much the material will stretch without deforming -- and plasticity -- the point at which it will deform -- remained unchanged.

"We can control which amino acids we use, so we can control the molecular weights," said Pena-Francesch. "We can design each segment and see what fundamentals of mechanics apply."

The researchers suggest that "the repetitions in native squid proteins could have a genetic advantage for increased toughness and flexibility."

"We found that the shortest polypeptide chains were brittle," said Demirel. "As they get longer, they are stretchy."

The structural properties in this material are highly programmable. Extremely elastic materials, like the amorphous portion of these proteins, absorb energy and are useful in things like automobile bumpers, while the crystalline portion acts like a spring and is more like the material in a car's dashboard. The proper balance of each could provide the desired materials characteristics.

Their building blocks, the synthetic amino acids, are produced by bacteria so that harvesting of live squid is no longer necessary. Also, the synthetic materials are self-healing, so small cracks and breaks can be repaired. Demirel and his team note that the synthetic mimic of the squid ring teeth proteins can be processed to form a variety of 3-dimensional shapes including ribbons, lithographic patterns and nanotubes with a vast array of potential uses.

###

Also working on this project were Reginald F. Hamilton, assistant professor in engineering science and mechanics and the Materials Research Institute; Alham Saadat and Aswathy Sebastian, technicians in biochemistry and molecular biology and the Huck Institutes; Istvan Albert, professor of bioinformatics and member of the Huck Institutes; and Dong Hwan Kim, undergraduate in biology. The researchers have filed a preliminary patent application on this work.

The Office of Naval Research and the Army Research Office.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
A'ndrea Elyse Messer

814-865-9481

Copyright © Penn State

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Leti and Oscaro Partner on Letiís New Low-Power, Low-Cost Transceiver to Track Parcels July 12th, 2018

Oxford Instrumentsí 22 Tesla superconducting magnet system commissioned at the UAM, making it the most intense magnetic field available outside a large international facility July 12th, 2018

Videos/Movies

New sensor technology enables super-sensitive live monitoring of human biomolecules July 3rd, 2018

NIST Researchers Simulate Simple Logic for Nanofluidic Computing June 30th, 2018

Salt boosts creation of 2-D materials: Rice University scientists show how salt lowers reaction temperatures to make novel materials April 18th, 2018

Quantum shift shows itself in coupled light and matter: Rice University scientists corral, quantify subtle movement in condensed matter system April 16th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

Carbon is the new black: Researchers use carbon nanotubes to develop clothing that can double as batteries July 10th, 2018

High-power electronics keep their cool with new heat-conducting crystals July 6th, 2018

SUNY Poly-Led AIM Photonics and Partners Attend SEMICON West 2018 to Showcase High-Tech Advances, Collaboration, and Future R&D Opportunities: New Yorkís Tech Valley Makes a Major Showing in Silicon Valley July 3rd, 2018

Possible Futures

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides July 13th, 2018

Leti and Oscaro Partner on Letiís New Low-Power, Low-Cost Transceiver to Track Parcels July 12th, 2018

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes/Nanorods

Carbon is the new black: Researchers use carbon nanotubes to develop clothing that can double as batteries July 10th, 2018

Nano-saturn: Supramolecular complex formation: Anthracene macrocycle and C60 fullerene June 8th, 2018

Unzipping graphene nanotubes into nanoribbons: New study shows elegant mathematical solution to understand how the flow of electrons changes when carbon nanotubes turn into zigzag nanoribbons June 6th, 2018

Making carbon nanotubes as usable as common plastics: Researchers discover that cresols disperse carbon nanotubes at unprecedentedly high concentrations May 15th, 2018

Nanomedicine

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Researchers identify cost-cutting option in treating nail fungus with nanotechnology: GW researcher Adam Friedman, M.D., studied the potential use of nitric oxide-releasing nanoparticles to improve onychomycosis treatment July 11th, 2018

New sensor technology enables super-sensitive live monitoring of human biomolecules July 3rd, 2018

Discoveries

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides July 13th, 2018

Researchers identify cost-cutting option in treating nail fungus with nanotechnology: GW researcher Adam Friedman, M.D., studied the potential use of nitric oxide-releasing nanoparticles to improve onychomycosis treatment July 11th, 2018

Materials/Metamaterials

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides July 13th, 2018

Carbon is the new black: Researchers use carbon nanotubes to develop clothing that can double as batteries July 10th, 2018

High-power electronics keep their cool with new heat-conducting crystals July 6th, 2018

Researchers present new strategy for extending ductility in a single-phase alloy June 28th, 2018

Announcements

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides July 13th, 2018

Leti and Oscaro Partner on Letiís New Low-Power, Low-Cost Transceiver to Track Parcels July 12th, 2018

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides July 13th, 2018

Researchers identify cost-cutting option in treating nail fungus with nanotechnology: GW researcher Adam Friedman, M.D., studied the potential use of nitric oxide-releasing nanoparticles to improve onychomycosis treatment July 11th, 2018

Patents/IP/Tech Transfer/Licensing

Changing the grocery game: Manufacturing process provides low-cost, sustainable option for food packaging June 26th, 2018

Tunable diamond string may hold key to quantum memory: A process similar to guitar tuning improves storage time of quantum memory May 24th, 2018

Self-assembling 3D battery would charge in seconds May 22nd, 2018

Leti Silicon Photonics Design Kit Available in Synopsis OptoDesigner Suite: Kit Contains Design Rules and Building Blocks for Multi-Project Wafers And Custom Runs on Letiís Si310 Platform April 5th, 2018

Military

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Carbon is the new black: Researchers use carbon nanotubes to develop clothing that can double as batteries July 10th, 2018

High-power electronics keep their cool with new heat-conducting crystals July 6th, 2018

Cleaning or Etching Items with Unique Geometries Requires Specialized Expertise June 27th, 2018

Textiles/Clothing

Carbon is the new black: Researchers use carbon nanotubes to develop clothing that can double as batteries July 10th, 2018

Candy cane supercapacitor could enable fast charging of mobile phones August 17th, 2017

Carbodeon demonstrates NanoDiamond nickel coatings with enhanced tribological properties June 7th, 2017

New ultrafast flexible and transparent memory devices could herald new era of electronics April 1st, 2017

Personal Care/Cosmetics

Graphene finds new application as anti-static hair dye: New formula works as well as commercial permanent dyes without chemically altering hairs March 22nd, 2018

Common nanoparticle has subtle effects on oxidative stress genes May 11th, 2016

NRL reveals novel uniform coating process of p-ALD April 21st, 2016

New ORNL method could unleash solar power potential March 16th, 2016

Nanobiotechnology

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Researchers identify cost-cutting option in treating nail fungus with nanotechnology: GW researcher Adam Friedman, M.D., studied the potential use of nitric oxide-releasing nanoparticles to improve onychomycosis treatment July 11th, 2018

New sensor technology enables super-sensitive live monitoring of human biomolecules July 3rd, 2018

Arrowhead Presents New Clinical Data on ARO-AAT at Alpha-1 National Education Conference July 1st, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project