Artificial Protein Design to Mimic Protein Nano-Mechanics at the Macroscale for Cardiovascular Biomaterial Applications
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 06/24/2022
AbstractNatural materials can serve as great inspirational sources to develop next-generation biomaterials, attributed to their exceptional physical, chemical, and biological properties. To mimic the superior properties of natural materials, the concepts of block copolymer and polymer networks are utilized to develop well-characterized functional proteins that can be engineered into artificial protein polymers. However, current artificial protein designs are limited in their ability to translate protein nano-mechanics to macroscale material properties because of topological defects, inefficient crosslinking density, and unspecific or unstable cross-linkers. In this project, we systematically investigated protein cross-linkers and strands to determine the optimal design components for producing biopolymer networks with ideal material properties. With the goal of mimicking the reversible deformability of red blood cells to develop functional biomaterials for cardiovascular tissue engineering and drug delivery applications; ankyrin, a red blood cell cytoskeleton protein, and streptavidin, a strong physical cross-linker, were designed into artificial protein building blocks for fabricating polymer networks with reduced topological defects and improved network homogeneity. These improvements progress efforts toward producing ideal polymer-network materials that translate single molecule protein nano-mechanics to macroscale functional biomaterials.
Degree ProgramGraduate College