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Adhesion and Structure Properties of Protein Nanomaterials Containing Hydrophobic and Charged Amino Acids

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Protein polymers are being used or considered for biobased adhesives and coating materials. Most adhesives derived from macro protein molecules work through receptors or cross-links to bring about adhesion. The adhesion mechanism of protein polymers would lead to better understanding of adhesives and the discovery of new practical properties of protein polymers at both nano- and macro-scales. The objective of this research work was to study adhesion properties of protein polymers at nanoscale (a peptide adhesive with nanometer-scale units that range in size of several nanometers, defined as protein nanomaterial). Seven protein nanomaterial samples with different degrees of adhesive strength were designed and synthesized using solid phase chemistries. All protein nanomaterials contain a common hydrophobic core flanked by charged amino acid sequences. The adhesion properties of the protein nanomaterials were investigated at different pH values and curing temperatures. The protein nanomaterials self aggregate and interact with the wood surface. The protein nanomaterial KKK-FLIVIGSII-KKK identified in this study had high adhesive strength toward wood. It had the highest shear strength at pH 12, with an amino acid sequence that was very hydrophobic and uncharged. This protein nanomaterial underwent structural analyses using circular dichroism, laser-Fourier transform infrared, and laser desorption mass spectrometry. At pH 12 this peptide adopted a pH-induced beta-like conformation. Adhesive strength reflects contributions of both hydrogen bonding and van der Waals interactions. Ionic and covalent bonds do not appear to be significant factors for adhesion in this study.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-03-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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