Engineered proteins stick like glue — even in water

TIm-Nanotech

This image shows adhesion between the silica tip of an atomic force microscope and adhesive fibers made by fusing mussel foot proteins and curli amyloid fibers. Image: Yan Liang New adhesives based on mussel proteins could be useful for naval or medical applications.

This project, described in the Sept. 21 issue of the journal Nature Nanotechnology, represents a new type of approach that can be exploited to synthesize biological materials with multiple components, using bacteria as tiny factories.

“The ultimate goal for us is to set up a platform where we can start building materials that combine multiple different functional domains together and to see if that gives us better materials performance,” says Timothy Lu, an associate professor of biological engineering and electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) and the senior author of the paper.

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