Sink Your Teeth Into This Crazy Squid Protein

Photo from New Scientist

Squid could provide an eco-friendly alternative to plastics

On a scale of 1 to misleading headlines, this baby is up there. No, we won’t soon be replacing Dasani bottles with liquid-filled squid (though I’m imagining vending machines stocked with them and models in bus advertisements drinking from them and that would be goofy as hell). In reality, you might one day purchase clothing coated in a thin material derived from squid ring teeth, which are exactly what they sound like – circular, pointy, little structures nestled within a squid’s suckers. The coating is abrasion resistant and even self-healing, and it prevents your clothing from sloughing off fibers in the wash – a major contributor to pollution in the ocean.

Not quite as sexy as squid bottles, I know, but it is a potential solution to a huge problem, and that’s not even getting into other applications of squid ring teeth for medical devices, smart optics, etc. This is why it’s super important to protect ocean resources (like I mentioned here talking about new medicines from coral reefs) – you never know what sea creatures may have to offer besides a meal on your plate. Certified R.A.D. by 4/5 dentists.

Oh, and I wasn’t kidding about the self-healing part. Mind blown.

From: Gaddes, D., Jung, H., Pena-Francesch, A., Dion, G., Tadigadapa, S., Dressick, W. J., et al. (2016). Self-healing textile: enzyme encapsulated layer-bylayer structural proteins. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 8, 20371–20378. doi: 10.1021/acsami.6b05232

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