Egg white-based strong hydrogel via ordered protein condensation

NPG Asia Materials 10, e; doi: 10.1038/am.2017.219; Published Online 5 January 2018

ハイドロゲル: たんぱく質に秩序をもたらす



Tatsuya Nojima and Tomokazu Iyoda

Hydrogels: Bringing proteins into order
A high-strength material made from egg whites has been developed by researchers in Japan. Gels made from the whites of hen eggs are prominent examples of materials built from proteins, but brittleness limits their practical applications. A possible explanation for this mechanical weakness is that the gel contains a random network of thermally denatured proteins, which creates an inhomogeneous material. Now, Tatsuya Nojima from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Tomokazu Iyoda from Doshisha University have shown that a surfactant can order egg-white proteins and improve the mechanical properties of the resulting gel. They added an ionic surfactant to an egg-white protein to produce a fluid with proteins orderly packed at regular intervals. The resultant material has maximum compressive fracture strength 150 times greater than that of gelled egg whites created by boiling.

NPG Asia Materials ISSN 1884-4049(Print) ISSN 1884-4057(Online)