Plastics may be replaced with a material made from the razor-sharp circular teeth found on a squid’s tentacle sucker pad.

The natural protein is created by the animal and can be made into fibres and films for a range of uses, including smart materials and self-healing recyclable fabrics.

Scientists claim these materials are eco-friendly, biodegradable and sustainable.

The key protein was discovered in the ring teeth of squid – circular predatory appendages on the suction cups located on the animal’s tentacles.

A method has now been developed which allows the protein to be created by manipulating bacteria to avoid harming the cephalopods.

‘Squid proteins can be used to produce next generation materials for an array of fields including energy and biomedicine, as well as the security and defence sector,’ says lead authorĀ Melik DemirelĀ at Penn State University.

‘We reviewed the current knowledge on squid ring teeth-based materials, which are an excellent alternative to plastics because they are eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable.’

The elasticity, flexibility and strength of the squid ring teeth materials comes from the range of ways its molecules can arrange themselves.

Self-healing, optical, thermal and electrical conducting properties are all created with a different layout.

Original Source


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