Silk protein can store life science data: research

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Photo/Shetuwang

Researchers have used silk fibroin, or silk protein, as a medium for high-capacity biological storage.

As a type of natural biological protein, the silk fibroin is renowned for its strength and biocompatibility. Nanoscale lithography and data storage in biocompatible materials have possible application prospects in bioelectronics and degradable electronics.

As an optical storage medium, the erasable silk fibroin can store digital and biological information with a capacity of 64 GB each square inch and exhibits long-term stability under various harsh conditions such as high humidity, high magnetic field and intense radiation.

The silk fibroin storage can store data information, human DNA and blood samples.

In order to inhibit the bacteria in the silk fibroin, the researchers added a certain amount of antibiotics. The results showed that the hemoglobin reserved within the silk fibroin maintained good biological activity in two weeks.

As reported in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, the researchers from the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences said the silk fibroin can be biofunctionalized to exhibit resistance to bacterial infection and heat-triggered, enzyme-assisted decomposition. 

 

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Editor: Gao Han