Self-healing fabric, abrasion-resistant coatings, precision drug delivery and smart textiles are potential applications of squid ‘ring tooth’ protein
The remarkable properties of a recently-discovered squid protein could revolutionize materials in a way that would be unattainable with conventional plastic, finds a review published in Frontiers in Chemistry. Originating in the ringed teeth of a squid’s predatory arms, this protein can be processed into fibers and films with applications ranging from ‘smart’ clothes for health monitoring, to self-healing recyclable fabrics that reduce microplastic pollution. Materials made from this protein are eco-friendly and biodegradable, with sustainable large-scale production achieved using laboratory culture methods.
“Squid proteins can be used to produce next generation materials for an array of fields including energy and biomedicine, as well as the security and defense sector,” says lead author Melik Demirel, Lloyd and Dorothy Foehr Huck Endowed Chair in Biomimetic Materials, and Director of Center for Research on Advanced Fiber Technologies (CRAFT) at Penn State University, USA. “We reviewed the current knowledge on squid ring teeth-based materials, which are an excellent alternative to plastics because they are eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable.”
Squid ring teeth are all-rounders
As humanity awakens to the aftermath of a 100-year party of plastic production, we are beginning to heed nature’s warnings – and its solutions.
“Nature produces a variety of smart materials capable of environmental sensing, self-healing and exceptional mechanical function. These materials, or biopolymers, have unique physical properties that are not readily found in synthetic polymers like plastic. Importantly, biopolymers are sustainable and can be engineered to enhance their physical properties,” explains Demirel.
The oceans, which have borne the brunt of plastic pollution, are at the center of the search for sustainable alternatives. A newly-discovered protein from squid ring teeth (SRT) – circular predatory appendages located on the suction cups of squid, used to strongly grasp prey – has gained interest because of its remarkable properties and sustainable production.
The elasticity, flexibility and strength of SRT-based materials, as well as their self-healing, optical, and thermal and electrical conducting properties, can be explained by the variety of molecular arrangements they can adopt. SRT proteins are composed of building blocks arranged in such a way that micro-phase separation occurs. This is a similar situation to oil and water but on a much smaller, nano-scale. The blocks cannot separate completely to produce two distinct layers, so instead molecular-level shapes are created, such as repeating cylindrical blocks, disordered tangles or ordered layers. The shapes formed dictate the property of the material and scientists have experimented with these to produce SRT-based products for a variety of uses.
The Latest on: Squid proteins
via Google News
The Latest on: Squid proteins
- Squid Is the New Eco-Friendly Plastic, Study Says on February 24, 2019 at 10:31 pm
Squid have evolved complex proteins in the suction-cup cavities that line their tentacles. The proteins are used to build squid ring teeth (SRT), a spiky circle of biopolymer material inside the sucke... […]
- Squid teeth might revolutionize fight against microplastic pollution on February 22, 2019 at 4:22 pm
A protein discovered in squid teeth might someday be responsible for a significant reduction in the current global plague of microplastic pollution, especially in the planet's oceans. In a paper publi... […]
- Squid Protein Could Be an Eco-Friendly Alternative to Plastics, Study Finds on February 22, 2019 at 2:22 pm
Plastic is polluting oceans worldwide by harming marine life and underwater habitats, but scientists are proposing another sustainable solution to the issue: squid protein. Penn State University scien... […]
- Protein found in squid forms fibres of sustainable materials on February 22, 2019 at 3:17 am
Protein found in ring teeth of squid could be used to make biodegradable materials for ‘smart’ clothes that monitor health, or self-healing recyclable fabrics that reduce microplastic pollution. Mater... […]
- Squid may provide an eco-friendly alternative to plastics on February 22, 2019 at 12:31 am
Washington D.C.: A recently discovered protein, found in squids, could revolutionise materials in a way that would be unattainable with conventional plastic. The study was published in Frontiers in Ch... […]
- Squid may help curb micro-plastic pollution on February 21, 2019 at 10:29 pm
Washington: A recently discovered protein, found in squids, could revolutionise materials in a way that would be unattainable with conventional plastic. The study was published in Frontiers in Chemist... […]
- Could squids solve the microplastics crisis? on February 21, 2019 at 4:07 pm
A newly discovered protein found in the tough suckers at the end of a squid's tentacles could hold the key to the development of new eco-friendly plastics. Research published yesterday by scientists a... […]
- Study: Squid Protein a Viable Alternative to Plastic on February 21, 2019 at 9:38 am
A Caribbean reef squid. (“Betty Wills (Atsme), Wikimedia Commons, License CC-BY-SA 4.0) (CN) – Microplastics are found everywhere. The 5-millimeter pieces of plastic, roughly the size of a grain of ri... […]
- Squid protein could provide an eco-friendly alternative to plastics (and no squid was harmed in the making of this film) on February 21, 2019 at 6:41 am
The remarkable properties of a recently-discovered squid protein could revolutionize materials in a way that would be unattainable with conventional plastic, finds a review published in Frontiers in C... […]
- Squid could provide an eco-friendly alternative to plastics on February 21, 2019 at 2:03 am
The remarkable properties of a recently-discovered squid protein could revolutionize materials in a way that would be unattainable with conventional plastic, finds a review published in Frontiers ... […]
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