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Towards the directed evolution of protein materials

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 April 2019

Anton Kan
Affiliation:
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA
Neel S. Joshi*
Affiliation:
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
*
Address all correspondence to Neel S. Joshi at neel.joshi@wyss.harvard.edu
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Abstract

Protein-based materials are a powerful instrument for a new generation of biological materials, with many chemical and mechanical capabilities. Through the manipulation of DNA, researchers can design proteins at the molecular level, engineering a vast array of structural building blocks. However, our capability to rationally design and predict the properties of such materials is limited by the vastness of possible sequence space. Directed evolution has emerged as a powerful tool to improve biological systems through mutation and selection, presenting another avenue to produce novel protein materials. In this prospective review, we discuss the application of directed evolution for protein materials, reviewing current examples and developments that could facilitate the evolution of protein for material applications.

Type
Synthetic Biology Prospective
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2019 

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