Self-Healing Textile: Enzyme Encapsulated Layer-by-Layer Structural Proteins

Abdon Pena-Francesch

Assistant Professor

Arriving January 2021



David Gaddes, Huihun Jung, Abdon Pena-Francesch, Genevieve Dion, Srinivas Tadigadapa, Walter J Dressick, and Melik C Demirel (2016)


Self-healing materials, which enable an autonomous repair response to damage, are highly desirable for the long-term reliability of woven or nonwoven textiles. Polyelectrolyte layer-by-layer (LbL) films are of considerable interest as self-healing coatings due to the mobility of the components comprising the film. In this work mechanically stable self-healing films were fabricated through construction of a polyelectrolyte LbL film containing squid ring teeth (SRT) proteins. SRTs are structural proteins with unique self-healing properties and high elastic modulus in both dry and wet conditions (>2 GPa) due to their semicrystalline architecture. We demonstrate LbL construction of multilayers containing native and recombinant SRT proteins capable of self-healing defects. Additionally, we show these films are capable of utilizing functional biomolecules by incorporating an enzyme into the SRT multilayer. Urease was chosen as a model enzyme of interest to test its activity via fluorescence assay. Successful construction of the SRT films demonstrates the use of mechanically stable self-healing coatings, which can incorporate biomolecules for more complex protective functionalities for advanced functional fabrics.

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