Recombinant structural repetitive proteins (SRP) are a thermoplastic biodegradable material with a variety of tunable properties, which is competitive with high-end synthetic petroleum-based plastics. The material is semi-crystalline and can be made rigid or so, exhibiting very high tensile strength. Among other applications, the team seeks to develop smart textiles which are multi-capable and can be used in a variety of applications, while being environmentally friendly and efficient.
Current applications under consideration include: a self-healing, high-strength textile; a wet adhesive for medical/surgical uses; and cosmetic uses. The material has the advantage of being eco-friendly. Polymers like those in SRPs can be manufactured into polyelectrolyte coatings, made up of positively and negatively charged polymers, to impart various functions, such as clothing that degrades toxins from pesticides.
IP is owned by the Penn State Research Foundation and is available for field-limited licensing. e technology is protected by US patent applications 15/137,999 “De novo Structural Protein Design for Manufacturing High Strength Materials” and 14/774,410 & 14/850,001 “Compositions and Methods Related to Proteins Capable of Reversible Transition to a Melt.”