Elastin is the polymeric, extracellular matrix protein responsible for the mechanical properties of extensibility and elastic recoil in large arteries, heart valves, lung parenchyma, skin and other tissues. We are using simplified versions of elastin to model the assembly, structure and material properties of elastic proteins, with the goal of linking amino acid sequence to physical behavior. A detailed molecular understanding of how protein sequence alters its material properties will allow the design of tunable biomaterials with desired features for use as implants, scaffolds for regenerative medicine, or drug delivery.
Prepare materials from a series of recombinant elastomeric proteins produced in the lab, and perform mechanical testing (elastic modulus, strength, etc) on them under varying conditions of hydration.
Prefer students from year 2 or higher, with chemistry or biochemistry lab experience. Undergrad lab experience required.
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemisty
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