C-lastin, Interlab
Biomaterials have the ability to interact with biological systems without being rejected. Through interdisciplinary research that involves cell biology, materials science, and bioengineering, biomaterials have been developed as biological substitutes to restore normal cellular function of organs and tissues. A new biomaterial will be developed based on the cross-linking of bacterial cellulose (BC) and elastin-like polypeptides (ELP), for biomedical applications. The cross-linking of both materials will be carried out with synthetic biology techniques using Escherichia coli as expression system. The crosslinking will be mediated by a carbohydrate binding domain protein module (CBD) specific for cellulose. CBDs are protein modules found in carbohydratases whose function is to bind carbohydrate to bring it closer to the catalytic site of the enzyme. For this process, three expression vectors will be designed. The first one will code for the enzymes necessary in the synthesis of bacterial cellulose, the second for the optimization of extracellular production and transport of bacterial cellulose and the third one will code for a fusion protein formed by the elastin-like polypeptide and the carbohydrate binding domain (CBD-ELP). A mathematical model for the interaction between cellulose and the CBD-ELP polypeptide will be determined based on the results from in-vitro experiments. The product generated by the modified bacteria will be characterized by biochemical methods and studied using structural elucidation methods, including spectrophotometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, and X-ray diffraction and its morphology will be elucidated using of atomic force microscopy. We expect that the new biomaterial combine the structural properties of bacterial cellulose with the functionalization capacity and thermo-sensitivity of elastin, for applications in food and tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and selective release of drugs.