Bioengineering Protein Universe: Food, Feed, Materials

M. Demirel
The Pennsylvania State University,
United States

Keywords: squitex, proteins, thermal, self-healing, sustainable


In our ever-changing world, there is a high demand for materials that can keep up with the rapid pace of progress. Nature has evolved many desirable features over millions of years; properties like self-healing abilities [1], thermal switching [2], and mechanical flexibility [3] have all been developed naturally by natural selection. Recognizing this potential, we are attempting to replicate nature's handiwork to create advanced materials suitable for human use. By harnessing basic elements found in nature, we replicate beneficial natural material properties and build new ones never seen before. In this talk, we will describe Squitex, an all-natural self-healing fabric, which eliminates plastic pollution and minimizes animal dependence with unparalleled strength, durability, and sustainability. 1. Pena et al., “Biosynthetic self-healing materials for soft machines” Nature materials, 2020, 19 (11), 1230-1235 2. Tunable thermal transport and reversible thermal conductivity switching in topologically networked bio-inspired materials”, Nature Nanotechnology, 2018, 13 (10), 959-964 3. Vural et al., “Bioinspired stretchable molecular composites of 2D-layered materials and tandem repeat proteins”, PNAS, 2022, 119 (31), e2120021119