Cover Image, Volume 51, Issue 4


original image

A family of proteins called reflectins from the Hawaiian bobtail squid function in camouflage by modulating incident light or bioluminescence. The core peptide repeat from this reflectin is genetically encoded, expressed, and processed into thin films with varying thicknesses and layers by flow-coating and spin-coating, as presented on page 254 by David L. Kaplan and colleagues. These films display structural color, suggesting the potential of reflectin-based thin films as color-based biosensors. The recombinant peptides also self-assemble to form patterned films with uniform spacing, which are ordered enough to work as optical diffraction gratings.