Title

Reflectin-based Biomaterials: The biochemistry and characterization of color in nature

Faculty Mentor(s)

Holly Carpenter Desai

Proposal Type

Poster

Location

Open 3rd Floor

Start Date

4-4-2013 4:30 PM

End Date

4-4-2013 6:00 PM

Description/Abstract

Nature is an excellent source of inspiration for scientists in the search for useful materials. For example, biomaterials such as elastin and collagen give properties such as elasticity and strength to human skin. Improved understanding of the structure and chemistry of these materials leads to innovative applications for them. Our group is keenly interested in a new protein material called “reflectin”. Reflectins are found naturally in the skin of squid, octopus, and cuttlefish, and these protein polymers give rise to iridescent colored structures in these animals which aid them in sophisticated camouflage behaviors. Reflectins are unusual in their composition, and these natural polymers have very interesting spectral and optical properties. We are studying the unique structure of reflectin-based materials in order to improve our understanding of how to engineer these materials for specific applications. Since 2009, our team at North Georgia has developed a series of model polymers that mimic the sequences of natural reflectins and materials that combine the elastic properties of elastin with the unique spectral properties of reflectin polymeric proteins. In collaboration with researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, CA, we have further investigated these materials using sophisticated instrumentation.

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Apr 4th, 4:30 PM Apr 4th, 6:00 PM

Reflectin-based Biomaterials: The biochemistry and characterization of color in nature

Open 3rd Floor

Nature is an excellent source of inspiration for scientists in the search for useful materials. For example, biomaterials such as elastin and collagen give properties such as elasticity and strength to human skin. Improved understanding of the structure and chemistry of these materials leads to innovative applications for them. Our group is keenly interested in a new protein material called “reflectin”. Reflectins are found naturally in the skin of squid, octopus, and cuttlefish, and these protein polymers give rise to iridescent colored structures in these animals which aid them in sophisticated camouflage behaviors. Reflectins are unusual in their composition, and these natural polymers have very interesting spectral and optical properties. We are studying the unique structure of reflectin-based materials in order to improve our understanding of how to engineer these materials for specific applications. Since 2009, our team at North Georgia has developed a series of model polymers that mimic the sequences of natural reflectins and materials that combine the elastic properties of elastin with the unique spectral properties of reflectin polymeric proteins. In collaboration with researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, CA, we have further investigated these materials using sophisticated instrumentation.