MINIRES is an oligopeptide based on a recurring consensus sequence in resilin,
a particular natural elastomeric protein, constituting the elastic structures in insects.
The patented peptide sequence derives from a consensus sequence of exon I (SDSYGAP) that has been chemically modified to enhance its elastomeric behavior.
The halogenation of at least one oligopeptide residue allows to replicate the elastic properties of the entire resilin, enhancing the spontaneous self-assembly of the peptide, without the need to chemical cross-linking.
“MINIRES can be used in cosmetic formulations, biomedical applications, for the production of supports for tissue engineering, regenerative medicine for the creation of artificial tissues and vessels, for drug delivery, and in the production of advanced polymers (thermoplastics, biocomposites )” explains Prof. Pierangelo Metrangolo, one of the inventors of the technology.
One of the advantages of using halogenated oligopeptides instead of conventional elastomeric proteins consists in the easier method of synthesis and purification and in the production, cheap and easily scalable.
The presence of halogenated atoms does not affect the toxicity of the patented oligopeptides, even at high concentrations. Moreover, the halogenation confers to the molecule the following effects:
- decreased solubility of the peptide, facilitating the formation of the elastomeric structures;
- increased non-covalent interaction in the peptide self-assembly, which promotes the formation of less soluble superstructures;
- increased chemical stability;
- possibility of further chemical modifications at the level of the halogenated functional groups.