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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2011 Jan;89(1):27-33. doi: 10.1007/s00253-010-2913-8. Epub 2010 Oct 2.

Protein-based underwater adhesives and the prospects for their biotechnological production.

Author information

1
Department of Bioengineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA. rstewart@eng.utah.edu

Abstract

Biotechnological approaches to practical production of biological protein-based adhesives have had limited success over the last several decades. Broader efforts to produce recombinant adhesive proteins may have been limited by early disappointments. More recent synthetic polymer approaches have successfully replicated some aspects of natural underwater adhesives. For example, synthetic polymers, inspired by mussels, containing the catecholic functional group of 3,4-L-dihydroxyphenylalanine adhere strongly to wet metal oxide surfaces. Synthetic complex coacervates inspired by the Sandcastle worm are water-borne adhesives that can be delivered underwater without dispersing. Synthetic approaches offer several advantages, including versatile chemistries and scalable production. In the future, more sophisticated mimetic adhesives may combine synthetic copolymers with recombinant or agriculture-derived proteins to better replicate the structural and functional organization of natural adhesives.

PMID:
20890598
PMCID:
PMC3086556
DOI:
10.1007/s00253-010-2913-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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