Fabricating materials from naturally occurring proteins that are inherently biocompatible enables the resulting material to be easily integrated with many downstream applications, ranging from batteries to transistors. In addition, protein-based materials are also advantageous because they can be physically tuned and specifically functionalized. Inventors have developed protein-based material from structural proteins such as reflectins found in cephalopods, a molluscan class that includes cuttlefish, squid, and octopus. In a space dominated by artificial, man-made proton-conducting materials, this material is derived from naturally occurring proteins.
A wide variety of modern day devices, ranging from batteries to transistors, rely on the transport of protons. Scientists and engineers have come up with many artificial, man-made materials, ranging from ceramic oxides to metal-organic frameworks, to continuously develop and enhance these devices. However, there remains an untapped potential as proton conductors derived from naturally occurring proteins have generally received little attention. The inventors have utilized Proton-Conducting Cephalopod Proteins (“PCCPs”), to fabricate a proton-conducting material. PCCP’s encompass native cephalopod proteins, such as reflectins, and also their variants. This technology is versatile because genetic engineering methods can be applied to modify the proteins, enabling electrical properties of the resulting material to be tuned to different specifications.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||9,804,121||10/31/2017||2014-267|
|United States Of America||Published Application||20180052137||02/22/2018||2014-267|
PCCP materials have been fabricated and characterized.