Enhancing sustainability and elasticity of synthetic fibers by tandem repeat proteins

Burcu Dursun, Tarek El Sayed Mazeed, Oguzhan Colak, Ramiz Boy, Melik C. Demirel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Protein fiber production in heterologous organisms, such as bacteria, provides a new possibility for engineering high-performance materials and composites. The discovery and design of sustainable materials that are biological or inspired by biological principles are essential for the development and production of the next generation of circular bioeconomy. Here, we created a hybrid of biological and synthetic materials by combining bio-engineered proteins with synthetic acrylic polymers to enhance the sustainability and elasticity of the blend fibers. First, we developed an optimized expression (i.e. yield exceeding 1 g l-1) and purification method (>80% purity) for squid ring teeth inspired by tandem proteins at the facility scale. We showed that our protein-based powder, produced via industrial fermentation, can be manufactured into braided yarns with acrylic using wet-spinning. Our fibers have enhanced elasticity when hydrated due to the hydrogen network between the protein and acrylic fibers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044001
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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