Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Designed Biomaterials Mimicking Biology

06.05.2010
Engineered artificial proteins that mimic the elastic properties of muscles in living organisms are the subject of an article in Nature magazine to be released May 6.

“Our goal is to use these biomaterials in tissue engineering as a type of scaffold for muscle regeneration,” said co-author Dan Dudek, an assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics at Virginia Tech. http://www.esm.vt.edu/person.php?id=10153.

The work was conducted when Dudek was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Zoology where he worked with the lead author Hongbin Li of the University of British Columbia’s Department of Chemistry. http://www.chem.ubc.ca/personnel/faculty/hongbin/index.shtml

According to the Nature press release on the article, “This work represents a step forward in the design at the single-molecule level of potentially useful biomaterials.”

The team engineered a synthetic protein to reproduce the molecular structure of titin, the muscle protein “that largely governs the elastic properties of muscle,” according to the Nature article. The researchers tested the nanomechanical properties of the new proteins at the single-molecule level and then cross-linked them into a solid rubber-like material.

The authors wrote that synthetic biomaterials display the unique multifunctional characteristics of titin, acting like a spring with high resilience at low strain and as a shock-absorb at high strains. Dudek added that this is “a nice feat when the material at a high strain releases stress instead of tearing apart. The material’s spring-like properties are fully recoverable.”

Under normal biological circumstances, injuries causing tissue tears larger than a centimeter will not reconnect on their own, Dudek said. The newly designed biomaterial could help in the healing process by acting as a tough yet extensible scaffold, allowing new tissue to grow across the gap.

The new biomaterial is biodegradable. “You only want the scaffold to exist as long as necessary, and then dissolve itself, leaving no side effects,” Dudek said.

Producing the synthetic protein is as easy as growing bacteria, but then it must be purified. The expense comes when generating large quantities, Dudek said. “Our next step will be to see if, on the engineering side, we can make use of this in the scaffold matrix.”

Dudek received his Ph.D. in integrative biology in 2006 from the University of California at Berkeley. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology with honors from the University of Chicago in 1998 and was in Canada as an NSF International Research Fellow.

The other authors to this Nature article are Shanshan Lv, Yi Cao, and M. M. Balamurali, and John Gosline, all of the University of British Columbia.

Lynn A. Nystrom | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.vt.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht One step closer to reality
20.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie

nachricht The dark side of cichlid fish: from cannibal to caregiver
20.04.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>