12. Future Trends for Recombinant Protein-Based Polymers: The Case Study of Development and Application of Silk-Elastin-Like Polymers

  1. Stephan Kabasci
  1. Margarida Casal1,
  2. António M. Cunha2 and
  3. Raul Machado1

Published Online: 4 OCT 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118676646.ch12

Bio-Based Plastics: Materials and Applications

Bio-Based Plastics: Materials and Applications

How to Cite

Casal, M., Cunha, A. M. and Machado, R. (2013) Future Trends for Recombinant Protein-Based Polymers: The Case Study of Development and Application of Silk-Elastin-Like Polymers, in Bio-Based Plastics: Materials and Applications (ed S. Kabasci), John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118676646.ch12

Editor Information

  1. Fraunhofer-Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT, Germany

Author Information

  1. 1

    CBMA (Centre of Molecular and Environmental Biology), Department of Biology, University of Minho, Portugal

  2. 2

    IPC (Institute of Polymers and Composites), Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Minho, Portugal

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 OCT 2013
  2. Published Print: 13 NOV 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119994008

Online ISBN: 9781118676646

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Keywords:

  • bioinspired materials;
  • biopolymers;
  • recombinant DNA technology;
  • recombinant protein-based polymers;
  • silk-elastin-like

Summary

Advances in recombinant DNA technology contributed to the development of genetically engineered polymers with exquisite control over monomer sequence and polymer length. Encoding at the genetic level and production of such recombinant polymers in organisms allow for precise order and accuracy of amino acid sequences and production of monodisperse polymers. The precision with which these polymers can be synthesized, allowing the creation of multifunctional complex polymers, has stimulated increasing demand for advanced materials with unique chemical, physical and biological characteristics. The silk-elastin-like class of genetically engineered protein polymers is composed of tandemly repeated silk-like (Gly-Ala-Gly-Ala-Gly-Ser) and elastin-like (Val-Pro-Gly-Val-Gly) amino acid blocks, combining the structural components of elastin and fibroin in a single molecule.

This chapter summarizes progress made in the synthesis and characterization of silk-elastin-like-polymers, with special focus in processing techniques and mechanical properties. Finally, a general discussion about challenges and future directions is considered.