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HIPERMAX — Result In Brief

Project ID: 505790
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Country: Germany

Protein scaffolds for biomedicine and textiles

Nature uses matrices of protein fibres to guide the formation of functional cells and tissues. Inspired European scientists are mimicking nature to develop natural products from tissue scaffolds to water-repellent clothing.
Protein scaffolds for biomedicine and textiles
In contrast to synthetic materials, protein matrix fabrics are made of the same molecules that the body uses. Thus, they are less likely to be rejected in the case of tissue regeneration and more likely to be eco-friendly in the case of textiles. In addition, the molecules can be modified to produce interesting and desirable properties.

EU-funded researchers set out to advance the state of the art in the field of protein matrices through funding of the ‘High performance industrial protein matrices through bioprocessing’ (Hipermax) project.

Scientists set a goal of identifying novel protein enzymes capable of catalysing modifications to protein matrices to produce tailor-made ones. Such matrices could have integrated antimicrobial or water-repelling substances, reinforcement, and new properties for other added-value products.

Major advances were accomplished in the realm of fungal enzymes for polymerisation as well as the use of transglutaminases for protein cross-linking as shown in nature in tissue remodelling and repair. Several papers were published from the project results.

The Hipermax consortium made important progress toward identification and screening of novel natural enzymes capable of modifying protein scaffolds to produce tailor-made properties and functionalities. Potential applications include biomedicine and tissue regeneration as well as development of novel ‘natural’ water-repellent textiles.

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