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SCIN - Self-regenerating Chitin INduction

Chitin, found in the exoskeletons of insects and crustaceans as well as the cell walls of fungi, is one of the most abundant organic polymers in nature. Like keratin in skin, it comprises the protective outer layer of these organisms. Our goal is to generate a layer of chitin from a lawn of bacteria (Escherichia coli) in response to an external molecular cue. This cue induces chitin synthesis (fast) and cell lysis (slow), allowing for a build-up of chitin followed by cell lysis and subsequent release into the top layer of the lawn. Abrasions expose cells to the external cue for self-repair. This would create a regenerative chitin biolayer with potential medical and industrial applications.

To find out more, click the links below:

Modeling Chassis Induction Chitin Apoptosis


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Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment that transcends traditional academic boundaries.

Our lab facilities are located at: Technological Institute 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208

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