pH-induced metal-ligand cross-links inspired by mussel yield self-healing polymer networks with near-covalent elastic moduli

N Holten-Andersen, MJ Harrington, H Birkedal, BP Lee, PB Messersmith, KYC Lee, JH Waite
February 15, 2011
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108 (7), 2651-2655, 2011.
Abstract:

Growing evidence supports a critical role of metal-ligand coordination in many attributes of biological materials including adhesion, self-assembly, toughness, and hardness without mineralization [Rubin DJ, Miserez A, Waite JH (2010) Advances in Insect Physiology: Insect Integument and Color, eds Jérôme C, Stephen JS (Academic Press, London), pp 75–133]. Coordination between Fe and catechol ligands has recently been correlated to the hardness and high extensibility of the cuticle of mussel byssal threads and proposed to endow self-healing properties [Harrington MJ, Masic A, Holten-Andersen N, Waite JH, Fratzl P (2010) Science 328:216–220]. Inspired by the pH jump experienced by proteins during maturation of a mussel byssus secretion, we have developed a simple method to control catechol-Fe3+signature of catechol-Fe3+mussel thread cuticle and the gels displayed elastic moduli (G′) that approach covalently crosslinked gels as well as self-healing properties. interpolymer cross-linking via pH. The resonance Raman cross-linked polymer gels at high pH was similar to that from native mussel thread cuticle and the gels displayed elastic moduli (G′) that approach covalently crosslinked gels as well as self-healing properties. interpolymer cross-linking via pH. The resonance Raman cross-linked polymer gels at high pH was similar to that from native.

 

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