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Advanced Materials

Weaving Genetically Engineered Functionality into Mechanically Robust Virus Fibers

Authors

  • C.-Y. Chiang,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Division of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 16-244, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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  • C. M. Mello,

    1. Macromolecular Science Team, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Natick Solider Center, Kansas St., Natick, MA 01760, USA
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  • J. Gu,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Division of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 16-244, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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  • E. C. C. M. Silva,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 8-237, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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  • K. J. Van Vliet,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 8-237, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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  • A. M. Belcher

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Division of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 16-244, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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  • This work was supported by the Army Research Office Institute of Collaborative Biotechnologies, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the author.

Abstract

Functionality-tunable fibers fabricated from the M13 virus are found to have mechanical toughness and strength comparable to synthetic homopolymer fibers. The desired functionality can be programmed by manipulating the virus genome (see figure and cover). The tunable functionalities and mechanical properties of the virus fibers show the promise of various applications.

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