Materials Fabrication from Native and Recombinant Thermoplastic Squid Proteins

Abdon Pena-Francesch

Assistant Professor

Arriving January 2021



Abdon Pena-Francesch, Sergio Florez, Huihun Jung, Aswathy Sebastian, Istvan Albert, Wayne Curtis, and Melik C Demirel (2014)


Natural elastomers made from protein extracts have received significant interest as eco-friendly functional materials due to their unique mechanical and optical properties emanating from secondary structures. The next generation sequencing approach is used to identify protein sequences in a squid ring teeth complex extracted from Loligo vulgaris and the use of recombinant expression is demonstrated in the fabrication of a new generation of thermoplastic materials. Native and recombinant thermoplastic squid proteins exhibit reversible solid to melt phase transition, enabling them to be thermally shaped into 3D geometries such as fibers, colloids, and thin films. Direct extraction or recombinant expression of protein based thermoplastics opens up new avenues for materials fabrication and synthesis, which will eventually be competitive with the high-end synthetic oil based plastics.

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