Even if an insect molts as it grows, it can reshape a hard outer shell called the cuticle into the epidermis, preventing foreign substances from entering the outside world and maintaining its morphology.The exodermis layer that has just been molted is soft, but the enzymes present in the exodermis layer of insects promote the air oxidation of polyphenols, so that multiple chitin fibers and the like are bonded (crosslinked) in a bridging manner to obtain a strong film. That is.
Assistant Professor Hiroya Abe of Tohoku University Interdisciplinary Science Frontier Research Institute (Graduate School of Engineering) and Associate Professor Hiroshi Yabu (Junior Principal Investigator / Distinguished Researcher) of Tohoku University Advanced Institute of Materials Science (Concurrently) ) Et al. Succeeded in reproducing a similar hardening process by mimicking the mechanism of cuticle reformation associated with the dehulling of this insect and using dopamine and gelatin gel instead.
Dopamine causes an oxidation reaction with oxygen in the air by itself, and dopamine has the property of spontaneously binding to each other. Therefore, when this reaction is allowed to proceed on the surface of gelatin gel, the oxidized dopamine plays a role of cross-linking gelatin molecules. Fulfill.As a result, a cured gelatin film can be formed at the interface between air and gel, and two-dimensional and three-dimensional shape control is possible by devising the interface shape between air and gel, so it can be used as a so-called three-dimensional gel printing. It is possible.
The membrane obtained by this process is said to be able to control molecular modification and release of proteins and other substances onto the gel surface, and because it is based on gelatin, it is also excellent in biodegradability and biocompatibility. ..From these points, it is expected that it will be applied to the drug sustained-release base material and the field of regenerative medicine in the future.