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Next-generation protein-based materials capture and preserve projectiles from supersonic impacts

Doolan, Jack, Alesbrook, L.S., Baker, Karen, Brown, I.R., Williams, George T., Hilton, Kira L.F., Tabata, Makoto, Wozniakiewicz, Penelope J., Hiscock, Jennifer R., Goult, Benjamin T and others. (2023) Next-generation protein-based materials capture and preserve projectiles from supersonic impacts. Nature nanotechnology, 18 (7). pp. 1060-1066. ISSN 1748-3387. (doi:10.1038/s41565-023-01431-1) (KAR id:98545)


Extreme energy-dissipating materials are essential for a range of applications. The military and police force require ballistic armour to ensure the safety of their personnel, while the aerospace industry requires materials that enable the capture, preservation and study of hypervelocity projectiles. However, current industry standards display at least one inherent limitation, such as weight, breathability, stiffness, durability and failure to preserve captured projectiles. To resolve these limitations, we have turned to nature, using proteins that have evolved over millennia to enable effective energy dissipation. Specifically, a recombinant form of the mechanosensitive protein talin was incorporated into a monomeric unit and crosslinked, resulting in a talin shock-absorbing material (TSAM). When subjected to 1.5 km s−1 supersonic shots, TSAMs were shown to absorb the impact and capture and preserve the projectile.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1038/s41565-023-01431-1
Additional information: For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.
Uncontrolled keywords: talin, material, chemistry, synbio, synthetic biology
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH581.2 Cell Biology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Biosciences
Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Chemistry and Forensics
Funders: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (
Science and Technology Facilities Council (
Cancer Research UK (
Depositing User: Ben Goult
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2022 17:09 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2024 14:15 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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