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Preventing Protein Unfolding with Polymers

from Nanowerk

Northwestern Engineering's Sinan Keten has theoretically demonstrated that small proteins can be reinforced with covalently bonded polymers against mechanical unfolding. His computational model illustrates strategies for using this polymer conjugation to prevent proteins from rapidly unfolding even when stretched or pulled apart. "If you apply a stress to a protein, we know it will start to unfold," said Keten, assistant professor of mechanical, civil and environmental engineering. "Given that proteins are subject to mechanical forces in the body and in all applications, it will be useful to reinforce them in this way." more

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