Army Project Turns to Nature for Help With Self-Healing Material

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Photo by T'Jae Ellis (Source:
Photo by T'Jae Ellis (Source:

August 10, 2020 | Originally published by U.S. Army on July 27, 2020

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — An Army-funded project developed a self-healing material patterned after squid ring teeth protein. The biodegradable. biosynthetic polymer could be used to repair materials that are under continual repetitive movement, such as robotic machines, prosthetic legs, ventilators, and personal protective equipment like hazmat suits.

The research at Penn State University and Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, Germany, funded in part by ARO, and published in Nature Materials produced high-strength synthetic proteins that mimic those found in nature. The researchers surveyed large libraries of novel proteins created by assembling repetitive sequences from the squid ring teeth protein in different configurations.