387837 Diffusion and Binding Dynamics in Viscoelastic Protein Hydrogels

Thursday, November 20, 2014: 5:30 PM
International 10 (Marriott Marquis Atlanta)
Peter Rapp1, Maren Buck2, Jeff Shen1 and David Tirrell1, (1)Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, (2)Chemistry, Smith College, Northampton, MA

Proteins perform a wide range of biological functions, but are built from a small set of amino acids. What if we could outfit proteins with new amino acids, and tailor them for applications to biology and beyond? Our laboratory has pioneered strategies for incorporating dozens of new amino acids into proteins, and has begun integrating these proteins into functional materials. This talk will describe chemical and biophysical approaches that we have taken to explore the dynamic properties of a novel protein copolymer, which self-assembles into physically crosslinked, viscoelastic hydrogels. Special emphasis will be placed on fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), which has been used to characterize chain diffusion and reversible binding in these gels. This technique has revealed that the dynamic properties of gel-associated chains are highly sensitive to changes in protein structure. Additionally, photobleaching has enabled us to control an unusual feature of pattern formation during a volume phase transition associated with these gels.

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See more of this Session: Biomacromolecular Gels
See more of this Group/Topical: Materials Engineering and Sciences Division