Exploring the phase behavior and rheology of intrinsically disordered proteins
UC Santa Barbara
Characterization and Properties
Synthesis and Formulation
Reflectins, a family of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), possess a unique capability to modulate the optical properties of cephalopod skin by forming osmotically active, size-controlled clusters and liquid-liquid phase separated (LLPS) droplets. However, there is limited understanding of how physiochemical factors such as pH, concentration and ionic strength control the transitions between different assembly states of reflectin including clusters, droplets and gels. This project seeks to fill this gap by employing differential dynamic microscopy (DDM) for high-throughput characterization of reflectin assembly and colloidal behavior across a diverse range of conditions. Ultimately, the data sets and insights gained from them will facilitate the development of predictive models for reflectin assembly and properties, enabling the rational engineering of bio-inspired photonic materials based on reflectin.