Thursday , August 11 2022

A square can offer another eco-friendly alternative to plastics



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Washington D.C.: Recent discovered protein, found in a square, could revolutionize materials in a way that would be instable with conventional plastic.

The study was published in Frontiers in Chemistry.

Arising from the bright teeth of the squat prey, this protein can be processed to fibers and films with applications ranging from smart clothing; for health monitoring, to recyclables self-healing fabrics that reduce micro-chemical pollution. The materials made of this protein are eco-friendly and biodegradable, with a large-scale sustainable production that has been achieved using laboratory culture methods.

"Square proteins can be used to produce next generation materials for a variety of areas, including energy and biomass, as well as the security and protection sector," said lead author Melik Demirel, adding " We reviewed the current information on the teeth of the squid circle – which is an excellent alternative to plastics because they are ecologically friendly and environmentally sustainable. "

"Nature produces a variety of intelligent materials that can detect the environment, self-healing and an exceptional mechanical function. These materials, or biopolymers, have unique physical properties that can not be easily detected in polymers synthetic as a plastic. Importantly, biopolymers are sustainable and they can be engineering to improve their physical properties, "explained Demirel.

The oceans, which have resulted in a plastic pollution failure, are at the heart of the search for other sustainable alternatives. Protein newly discovered from the teeth of squid circles (SRT) – crested appliances based on squid suction cups, used to grasp prey – have gained interest due to its wonderful property and sustainable production.

The variety of molecular arrangements that they adopt can explain the elasticity, flexibility and strength of SRT-based materials, as well as their self-healing, optical, and thermal and electrical properties.

SRT proteins include built-in building blocks in a way that a micro-phase separation occurs. This is a situation similar to oil and water but on a much smaller nano scale. The blocks can not completely separate to produce two different layers, so instead molecular level shapes are created, such as repeat cylindrical blocks, tangloi disorders or order layers. The shapes formed determine the properties of the material and scientists have experimented with these to produce SRT products for a variety of materials.

In the textile industry, SRT protein could access one of the main sources of micro-plastic pollution by providing scratch-resistant coating that reduces microfiber erosion in washing machines. Similarly, a healthier SRT protein cover could increase the longevity and safety of likely biochemical implants, as well as clothing tailored for protection against chemical and biological war agents.

It is possible to interleave multiple layers of SRT proteins with other compounds or technology, which could lead to the development of smart clothing; which can protect us from air pollutants while watching our health too.

The optical properties of SRT materials mean that these clothes may also display information about our health or our environment. Photonic devices based on Flexible SRT – components that create, handle or detect light, such as LEDs and optical displays, which are usually manufactured with hard materials such as glass and quartz – are being developed at the moment.

Its eco-features is one of the main advantages of SRT materials over synthetic and plastic materials made from fossil fuels. SRT proteins are produced freely and easily from renewable resources and researchers have found a way of producing them without holding a squid.

"We do not want to remove resources from natural pollution and so we produce these proteins in genetically modified bacteria. The process is based on fermentation and uses sugar, water and oxygen to produce biopolymers, "explained Demirel.

It is hoped that the SRT prototypes will become more widely available, but more development is needed.

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