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News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

Shellfish proteins inspire waterproof wonderglue


 Engineers from MIT have created waterproof adhesives based on the proteins that give these creatures such qualities, a development that could one day be used in ship repairs or medical applications.

"A lot of underwater organisms need to be able to stick to things, so they make all sorts of different types of adhesives that you might be able to borrow from," says Timothy Lu, associate professor of biological engineering, electrical engineering and computer science and senior author of the research paper.

With regards to mussels, these adhesives are known as mussel foot proteins. Scientists have mimicked these proteins before through the engineering of E. coli bacteria, though Lu says this hasn't represented the true complexities of the natural adhesive.

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