Protein Engineering for Intelligent Biomaterials

Protein Engineering for Intelligent Biomaterials

Author: ChemViews

Stimuli-responsive materials are finding uses in many fields of science, including biology and medicine. Until now, they have been prepared from a limited number of synthetic polymers, biopolymers, and biomimetic polymers. Roy Choudhury and co-workers, University of South Australia, have used resilin (a protein found in many insects) as a basis for an intelligent biomaterial that responds to multiple stimuli.

Rec1-resilin was made from the Drosophila melanogaster CG15920 gene by using recombinant DNA technology. Its photophysical properties are pH dependant with an increase in pH resulting in a red-shift in the peak absorbance of the fluorescence emission spectra. Rec1-resilin also undergoes sol-gel transitions at 15 and 70 °C.

This is the first example of a protein that has both an upper and a lower critical solution temperature. Resilin-based materials are expected to be of use in medicine and rec1-resilin’s ability to act as an intelligent biomaterial could see it used as a separating agent or reporter molecule.

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