Scientists use fruit flies to weave natural fibers
it is reported that Rice University in the United States and Texas agriculture and tensile testing machine are jointly used. In the process of wood pouring and stretching, researchers at the University of technology combine different proteins with a transcription factor from fruit flies through gene insertion and fusion technology, and then pull it into a fine and strong thread, which can be woven into any desired texture structure. This material has a variety of potential functions, can be used as a chemical catalyst and biosensor, and has broad prospects in the field of tissue engineering in the future. The latest paper was published in today's advanced functional materials online edition
Katherine Mathew of Rice University biochemistry laboratory and Sarah bondos, an associate professor at Texas A & M University, worked together to study the super double breasted gene (Ubx), a recombinant transcription factor protein in Drosophila melanogaster genes that can regulate the development of wings and legs. Using gene fusion technology, they combined Ubx with fluorescent and cold light proteins to form a chimera, and pulled the chimera into fibers, which were observed under a microscope. The results showed that Ubx and strong also included steel enterprises, steel trading enterprises, logistics and transportation enterprises, and green fluorescent protein binding showed bright green, while binding with red fluorescent protein and brown protein myoglobin showed bright red and brown, respectively, Combined with luciferase, it emits a bright red light. It shows that these functional proteins retain their respective functions in chimeras
chimeras in biological sense include cell lines with more than two different genes, such as the overall grafting of plants; At the molecular level, chimeras are single-molecule polypeptides synthesized from different proteins
Huang Zhao of Rice University, the main author of the paper, twisted and folded various proteins to form chimeras, pulled them into threads, and woven them into various patterns with these threads, or tied them to a frame. "The physical and chemical process of making solid materials with functional proteins usually hurts the protein activity, and the three-dimensional structure we generate has activity. This production technology is simple and unique, and does not need special equipment." Huang Zhao explained
the research team published a paper in the journal biological macromolecules in 2009, saying that it had developed a "super" material, a super strong and highly elastic natural fiber. "At that time, we were able to make three-dimensional bodies. On this basis, we can now make sticks and pieces, and combine them together. Anything that can be made with a toy assembly, we can make it with Ubx." Bondos said. Ubx based biomaterials are comparable to the natural elastin that constitutes skin and other soft tissues. The mechanical properties of this chimeric fiber can also be adjusted by changing its diameter. Functional Ubx can generate three-dimensional organs layer by layer. "We can build a shape like a heart, and we can also establish instructions inside the material to allow cells to differentiate into muscles, nerves, blood vessels or other tissues."
Matthew pointed out that the whole process needs to be as stable as possible. Fibers embedded with multiple functional proteins have many uses. It can combine enzymes, antibodies, growth factors and peptide recognition sequences, and can also produce functional fibers arranged in a specific order as a catalyst for gradual progression
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