is an elastomeric protein
found in many arthropods
. As of 2005 it is the most efficient elastic protein known (Elvin et al, 2005). The elastic efficiency of the resilin isolated from locust tendon
has been reported to be 97 % (only 3 % of stored energy is lost as heat). It has no regular structure but its randomly coiled chains are crosslinked by di- and tri-tyrosine
links at the right spacing to confer the elasticity
needed to propel some jumping insects distances up to 150 times their length (as found in fleas). Resilin must last for the lifetime of adult insects
and must therefore operate for hundreds of millions of extension
; its elastic efficiency ensures performance over the insect's lifetime. Resilin exhibits unusual elastomeric behaviour only when swollen in polar solvents
such as water.
A multi-disciplinary research team funded by the Australian research body CSIRO
published research in Nature
on 13 October 2005 on the artificial creation of the protein.
A recombinant form of the vinegar fly resilin protein, pro-resilin, was synthesized in 2005 by expressing a part of the fly gene in the bacterium Escherichia coli. It is expected to have many applications in the athletic footwear, medical, microelectronics and other industries.
References and external links
- Harnessing flea power to create near-perfect rubber, Media Release from the CSIRO
- Elvin CM, Carr AG, Huson MG, Maxwell JM, Pearson RD, Vuocolo T, Liyou NE, Wong DC, Merritt DJ, Dixon NE. "Synthesis and properties of crosslinked recombinant pro-resilin" Nature. 2005 Oct 13;437(7061):999-1002
- Shorter news item from Nature
- Summary from University of South Australia
- Insect Rubber article from Future Materials