Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers design new biomaterial that mimics muscle elasticity

Date:
May 6, 2010
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
Researchers have cast artificial proteins into a new solid biomaterial that very closely mimics the elasticity of muscle. The approach opens new avenues to creating solid biomaterials from smaller engineered proteins, and has potential applications in material sciences and tissue engineering.

Designed artificial elastomeric protein-based hydrogels mimic the passive elastic properties of muscles.
Credit: Yi Cao and Hongbin Li, University of British Columbia

University of British Columbia researchers have cast artificial proteins into a new solid biomaterial that very closely mimics the elasticity of muscle.

The approach, detailed in the current issue of the journal Nature, opens new avenues to creating solid biomaterials from smaller engineered proteins, and has potential applications in material sciences and tissue engineering.

"There are obvious long-term implications for tissue engineers," says Hongbin Li, associate professor in the Dept. of Chemistry. "But at a fundamental level, we've learned that the mechanical properties we engineer into the individual proteins that make up this biomaterial can be translated into useful mechanical properties at the larger scale."

Li, Canada Research Chair in Molecular Nanoscience and Protein Engineering, and UBC colleague John Gosline, professor in the Dept. of Zoology, engineered the artificial proteins to mimic the molecular structure of titin.

Titin -- also known as connectin -- is a giant protein that plays a vital role in the passive elasticity of muscle. The engineered version-which resembles a chain of beads-is roughly 100 times smaller that titin.

The resulting rubber-like biomaterial showed high resilience at low strain and was tough at high strain -- features that make up the elastic properties of muscles.

"A hallmark of titin-like proteins is that they unfold under a stretching force to dissipate energy and prevent damage to tissues by over-stretching," says Gosline. "We've been able to replicate one of the more unique characteristics exhibited by muscle tissues, but not all of them."

The mechanical properties of these biomaterials can be fine-tuned, providing the opportunity to develop biomaterials that exhibit a wide range of useful properties -- including mimicking different types of muscles. The material is also fully hydrated and biodegradable.

UBC researchers Shanshan Lv, Daniel Dudek, Yi Cao and MM Balamurali also contributed to the study.

This research is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canada Research Chairs program, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Shanshan Lv, Daniel M. Dudek, Yi Cao, M. M. Balamurali, John Gosline, Hongbin Li. Designed biomaterials to mimic the mechanical properties of muscles. Nature, 2010; 465 (7294): 69 DOI: 10.1038/nature09024

Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Researchers design new biomaterial that mimics muscle elasticity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100505133302.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2010, May 6). Researchers design new biomaterial that mimics muscle elasticity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100505133302.htm
University of British Columbia. "Researchers design new biomaterial that mimics muscle elasticity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100505133302.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins