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New Paper in Nanoscale Advances on frictional behaviour of plant proteins at nanoscale


A new paper on detailed investigation of frictional behaviour of sustainable plant proteins at nanoscale and their interactions with salivary mucins is published in Nanoscale Advances by Dr. Evangelos Liamas (Postdoctoral Fellow, ERC LubSat Project) in collaboration with Dr. Simon Connell from Physics. In this paper titled "Frictional behaviour of plant proteins in soft contacts: unveiling nanoscale mechanisms", delubrication behaviour of lupine, pea, and potato proteins at the nanoscale is elucidated whilst systematically varying the pH and ionic strength using deformable bio-relevant surfaces that achieve biologically relevant contact pressures and  single tongue papillae-level resolution. A combination of atomic force microscopy, quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring, and friction force microscopy with soft polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS, 150 kPa) surfaces was employed to elucidate the frictional properties and interactions of these plant proteins with purified mucins were also probed. The current work offers novel insights into the nanotribological performance of plant proteins pinpointing the role of adhesion, affinity and protein hydration as well as load dependency, that can be tuned either by plant protein type or subtle manipulation of environmental factors (pH, ionic strength) and holds great potential for future development of sustainable food and biomaterials where optimum lubrication is a key necessity. Check this open access paper in Nanoscale Advances, Volume 5, Pages 1102 - 1114