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Bio-Inspired Moisture-Resistant

Adhesives

Phragmatopoma californica

Mentor: Abril Estrada

Advisor: Herbert Waite

Brittany Bagheri

Caitlin Horn

Ahna Miller

Whitney Warren


Phragmatopoma Californica

“Phrag” Worm

• Build tubes with

naturally

secreted

adhesive

• Ability to cure in

salt water

Nathistoc.bio.uci.edu/Annelids/Sandcastle.htm


Phragmatopoma Californica

“Phrag” Worm

• Project Goals:

Mimic the properties

of this adhesive in the

lab for potential

consumer use

Nathistoc.bio.uci.edu/Annelids/Sandcastle.htm


Applications

• Dental work

• Bone

reconstruction

• Alternative to

stitches

• Underwater

construction

Adapted from: wikipedia

www.randomreadheadblogspot.com

www.nzsos.co.nz/photos


Peptide Polymers

• The adhesive made

of proteins

• Polymers interact and

form complexes

• DOPA allows

adhesive to adhere

underwater


Polymer Synthesis

• Polymer 1 (+):

• Polymer 2 (-):


Glove Box

• Filled with Argon

• Monomers are air and

water sensitive

• Prevents interactions

with oxygen


Polymer Purification

1. Precipitate

2. Centrifuge

3. Repeat

4. Dialyze

5. Freeze dry


Polymer Characterization

Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC)

poly [lysine-co-DOPA]

Relative Concentration

0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50

Minutes

Average MW = 24000 Da


Polymer Characterization

Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC)

poly [aspartic acid-co-DOPA]

Relative Concentration

0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50

Minutes

Average MW = 24000 Da


Polymer Characterization

Isoelectric Point


Polymer Characterization

Isoelectric Point


Polymer Complexes

• Combine (+) and (-)

polymers

• Creates viscous

phase


Polymer Complexes

Turbidity Measurements

60

Solution Turbidity @ pH 5

50

%Scattered Light

40

30

20

10

0

0 20 40 60 80 100

wt% Poly(lysine-co-DOPA)


Polymer Complexes

Turbidity Measurements

40

Solution Turbidity @ pH 8

%Scattered Light

35

30

25

20

15

10

5

0 20 40 60 80 100

wt% Poly(lysine-co-DOPA)


Conclusions

• Made charged polymers with DOPA

• Characterized polymers

• Complex polymers

• Tested optimal conditions

Future work:

• Extract polymer complexes

• Test for adhesive properties


Acknowledgments

• UCSB SIMS staff

• Abril Estrada

• Herbert Waite

• The Stucky Lab

• National Science Foundation (NSF)

• California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI)

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