Title: Sugary interfaces mitigate contact damage where stiff meets soft
Authors: Hee Young Yoo, Mihaela Iordachescu, Jun Huang, Elise Hennebert, Sangsik Kim, Sangchul Rho, Mathias Foo, Patrick Flammang, Hongbo Zeng, Daehee Hwang, J. Herbert Waite, Dong Soo Hwang
Journal: Nature Communications
Abstract: The byssal threads of the fan shell Atrina pectinata are non-living functional materials intimately associated with living tissue, which provide an intriguing paradigm of bionic interface for robust load-bearing device. An interfacial load-bearing protein (A. pectinata foot protein-1, apfp-1) withL-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA)-containing and mannose-binding domains has been characterized from Atrina’s foot. apfp-1 was localized at the interface between stiff byssus and the soft tissue by immunochemical staining and confocal Raman imaging, implying that apfp-1 is an interfacial linker between the byssus and soft tissue, that is, the DOPA-containing domain interacts with itself and other byssal proteins via Fe3+–DOPA complexes, and the mannose-binding domain interacts with the soft tissue and cell membranes. Both DOPA- and sugar-mediated bindings are reversible and robust under wet conditions. This work shows the combination of DOPA and sugar chemistry at asymmetric interfaces is unprecedented and highly relevant to bionic interface design for tissue engineering and bionic devices.