This week in adhesive news, researchers from Penn State University believe proteins found in certain squids might lead the way to self-healing polymers. Melik Demirel, professor at Penn State, and a group of researchers studied specific repeating patterns in the protein of the squids’ ring teeth to discover why certain chains of proteins were repeated. They discovered that each repetition had its own function, which lead to the development of their own synthetic material. By manipulating the chains of amino acids in the material, they can make it either highly elastic, which can absorb energy, spring-like, or a combination of the two. The material also has self-healing properties, enabling small breaks and cracks to be repaired, and can be processed into a variety of 3D shapes including lithographic patterns, ribbons, and nanotubes with a wide range of possible applications.
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