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Sticky when wet

Efficient production of mussel protein could have medical applications

12:35pm, May 9, 2008

Making glue that works underwater is a sticky business. Now scientists have engineered bacteria to efficiently produce proteins that mussels use to cling to rocks in the churning surf. The technique could lower the cost of mussel adhesive proteins, or MAPs, and perhaps make them economical for uses in medicine and biological research.

“The possibility to use MAPs in lots of medical areas, including antibiotic coatings on cardiac stents and other medical implant devices, has been suggested by lots of scientists,” says Hyung Joon Cha, leader of the research at Pohang University of Science and Technology in Pohang, South Korea. Mussel adhesive could bind antibiotic compounds to the stents to prevent infection, a major concern for implant

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