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Mechnical properties of resilin

Research Achievements

Mechnical properties of resilin

Proteins such as collagen and spider silk are known as ‘elastic proteins’. Resilin, one such protein found in insects, is currently the most efficient elastic protein known, with high fatigue lifetime and resilience. These unique properties allow resilin to be used as an effective energy storage mechanism (in cicada sound-producing organs), or for structural support with repeated movements (in fruit fly wings). Although resilin from different insects contains the same repeating motif (SYGAP), there are several differences in the remainder of the chain. However, it is currently unclear if these differences serve a particular biological purpose, or are simply the result of genetic drift. We are simulating the mechanical properties of resilin with different amino acid sequences in order to understand these differences. With this knowledge it may be possible to engineer specific types of resilin for specific applications. A manuscript by Kappiyoor et al has been submitted to Soft Matter.