Protein nanofibres of defined morphology prepared from mixtures of crude crystallins
Self assembling protein nanofibres have great potential within the nanotechnology industry. To realise this potential, nanofibres need to be manufactured on a commercial scale. To date, amyloid fibrils, a form of protein nanofibre with desirable bionanotechnological properties, have only been produced using expensive and time-costly, small-scale methods. This paper describes the production of protein nanofibres from semi-pure and crude mixtures of bovine crystallin proteins, currently a waste product in the meat industry. These nanofibres displayed amyloid fibril characteristics. Moreover, distinct fibre morphologies were observed dependent upon the formation conditions adopted. This research shows that amyloid fibrils can be inexpensively produced from crude crystallin protein mixtures, making them a potential industrial source for protein nanofibres.
Keywords: amyloid fibrils, protein nanofibres, bovine crystallins, WAXS, TEM, self assembly, nanotechnology, fibre morphologies