Self-reporting materials : protein-mediated visual indication of damage in a bulk polymer

Bruns, Nico and Clark, Douglas S.. (2011) Self-reporting materials : protein-mediated visual indication of damage in a bulk polymer. Chimia, 65 (4). pp. 245-249.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6002603

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Damage self-reporting materials are able to indicate the presence of microscopic damaged regions by easy to detect signals, such as fluorescence. Therefore, these smart materials can reduce the risk of catastrophic failure of load-bearing components, e.g. in aerospace and construction applications. We highlight here our proof-of-concept paper and we present some addnl. data, which shows that proteins can be used as mechanophores in solid polymeric materials. Macroscopic mech. forces were transferred from the polymer to the embedded proteins. The biomols. act as mol. strain sensor, giving the material the desired self-reporting property. Poly(ethylene glycol) and poly(acrylamide) (PAAm) networks were doped with small amts. of thermosome (THS), a protein cage from the family of chaperonins, that encapsulated a pair of fluorescent proteins. THS acts as a scaffold which brings the two fluorescent proteins into distance suitable for fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). Moreover, THS can be distorted by mechanic forces so that the distance between the fluorescent proteins changes, leading to a change in FRET efficiency. Using the brittle PAAm as a model system, we were able to visualize microcracks in the polymers by FRET microscopy and by fluorescence lifetime imaging. THS also stabilizes the encapsulated guest proteins against thermal denaturation, increasing their half-live at 70 °C by a factor of 2.3.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Chemie
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Chemie > Chemie
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Chemie > Former Organization Units Chemistry > Makromolekulare Chemie (Meier)
UniBasel Contributors:Bruns, Nico
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Schweizerische Chemische Gesellschaft
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:20 Nov 2017 07:49
Deposited On:11 Oct 2012 15:25

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