1. National Synchrotron Light Source Seminar

    "Genotype to Mechanical Phenotype Mapping: Combining NextGen Sequencing with Proteomics and Materials Science"

    Presented by Ali Miserez, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 12 pm
    John Dunn Seminar Room, Bldg. 463

    Hosted by: Diane DiMasi

    I will describe our recent efforts in using Next-Generation sequencing (RNA-Seq) methods in the context of biomimetic materials engineering. I will discuss how RNA-Seq, integrated with proteomics, offers an ideal platform that dramatically facilitates biomimetics research including the identification of novel biomaterials engineering designs and manufacturing processes. Combined with vibrational spectroscopy, x-ray scattering, and nano-mechanical characterization, I will describe how this approach allows for the rapid creation of genotype to mechanical phenotype maps in the context of bio-inspired materials engineering. I will specifically illustrate our efforts in deploying this approach towards giant squid Sucker Ring Teeth (SRT). SRT that line up the tentacles of giants squids are remarkable protein-based materials that can compete with the best synthetic polymers in terms of structural properties, with elastic modulus in the range of 8 GPa. Despite this high mechanical performance, inter-chain chemical cross-linking is absent and the teeth are fully stabilized by a network of hydrogen bond and hydrophobic interactions between the proteins building blocks. We have recently elucidated the molecular sequences and design of all major proteins that make up this remarkable supramolecular network. The proteins are highly repetitive and do not have any homology with commonly-known structural proteins, making them a unique and novel source of bio-inspiration biopolymer. We have also established a recombinant expression system that allows us to readily express full-length sucker ring teeth proteins in lab-scale quantities. The recombinant proteins are readily processed into a variety of structures and shapes, including fibers, films, or nano-patterned surfaces. Remarkably, the mechanical properties obtained from the recombinant match those from the native systems, thus opening the door to "green" manufacturing of novel biocompatible and robust biopolyme