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Issue 48, 2017
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Simple peptide coacervates adapted for rapid pressure-sensitive wet adhesion

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Abstract

We report here that a dense liquid formed by spontaneous condensation, also known as simple coacervation, of a single mussel foot protein-3S-mimicking peptide exhibits properties critical for underwater adhesion. A structurally homogeneous coacervate is deposited on underwater surfaces as micrometer-thick layers, and, after compression, displays orders of magnitude higher underwater adhesion at 2 N m−1 than that reported from thin films of the most adhesive mussel-foot-derived peptides or their synthetic mimics. The increase in adhesion efficiency does not require nor rely on post-deposition curing or chemical processing, but rather represents an intrinsic physical property of the single-component coacervate. Its wet adhesive and rheological properties correlate with significant dehydration, tight peptide packing and restriction in peptide mobility. We suggest that such dense coacervate liquids represent an essential adaptation for the initial priming stages of mussel adhesive deposition, and provide a hitherto untapped design principle for synthetic underwater adhesives.

Graphical abstract: Simple peptide coacervates adapted for rapid pressure-sensitive wet adhesion

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Article information


Submitted
22 Sep 2017
Accepted
16 Nov 2017
First published
16 Nov 2017

Soft Matter, 2017,13, 9122-9131
Article type
Paper

Simple peptide coacervates adapted for rapid pressure-sensitive wet adhesion

I. Kaminker, W. Wei, A. M. Schrader, Y. Talmon, M. T. Valentine, J. N. Israelachvili, J. H. Waite and S. Han, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 9122
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01915G

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