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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1561; doi:10.3390/ijms18071561

Melanin and Melanin-Related Polymers as Materials with Biomedical and Biotechnological Applications—Cuttlefish Ink and Mussel Foot Proteins as Inspired Biomolecules

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology B and Immunology, School of Medicine and LAIB-IMIB, University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain
Received: 23 June 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melanin Based Functional Materials)
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Abstract

The huge development of bioengineering during the last years has boosted the search for new bioinspired materials, with tunable chemical, mechanical, and optoelectronic properties for the design of semiconductors, batteries, biosensors, imaging and therapy probes, adhesive hydrogels, tissue restoration, photoprotectors, etc. These new materials should complement or replace metallic or organic polymers that cause cytotoxicity and some adverse health effects. One of the most interesting biomaterials is melanin and synthetic melanin-related molecules. Melanin has a controversial molecular structure, dependent on the conditions of polymerization, and therefore tunable. It is found in animal hair and skin, although one of the common sources is cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) ink. On the other hand, mussels synthesize adhesive proteins to anchor these marine animals to wet surfaces. Both melanin and mussel foot proteins contain a high number of catecholic residues, and their properties are related to these groups. Dopamine (DA) can easily polymerize to get polydopamine melanin (PDAM), that somehow shares properties with melanin and mussel proteins. Furthermore, PDAM can easily be conjugated with other components. This review accounts for the main aspects of melanin, as well as DA-based melanin-like materials, related to their biomedical and biotechnological applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: melanin; polydopamine; adhesive material; biofilms; coated nanoparticles; therapeutical devices; biomedical applications melanin; polydopamine; adhesive material; biofilms; coated nanoparticles; therapeutical devices; biomedical applications
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Solano, F. Melanin and Melanin-Related Polymers as Materials with Biomedical and Biotechnological Applications—Cuttlefish Ink and Mussel Foot Proteins as Inspired Biomolecules. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1561.

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