Modulus Enhancement of Hydrogels of Squid Ring Teeth Proteins

Zachary Benekos


The mechanical properties of the esoteric squid ring teeth (SRT) proteins, or suckerins, were analyzed. Hydrogels were made by mixing heated gelatin with crushed SRT proteins in solution, which was reacted with ammonium persulfate (APS) and Tris(2,2’-bipyridyl)dichlororuthenium hexahydrate (Ru). The compression moduli of the gels were determined using a contact mechanics method1 derived from the Johnson-Kendall-Roberts theory2. In this study, the native SRT proteins were used to generate some preliminary results. The addition of native SRT proteins to a gelatin can increase the Young’s modulus of the formed gels. Since proteins derived from SRT, i.e., suckerins, were found to be one of the strongest proteins discovered to date, they can be used as an additive that can add strength and flexibility to applications such as synthetic bone, cartilage, or tendon tissue, textiles, and specialty polymers.

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  2. Johnson, K.L.; Kendall, K.; and Roberts, A.D. Surface energy and the contact of elastic solids. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series A, 324, pg 301-313, 1971.