Scientists in Singapore are designing an online database in order to study recent breakthroughs in biomaterials, according to NanoWerk News.
The researchers used materials from sea creatures, including squids and mussels, to create a substance that is tougher and more durable than most plastics. The scientists came up with the new material by combining techniques from material science with RNA sequencing and protoeomics, which is the study of how proteins work.
Online database has immense potential
“The potential of finding new biomaterials in such a short time is immense,” said Ali Miserez, assistant professor at Nanyang Technological University. “By understanding the structure of the protein in the sucker rings, we were able to reproduce the protein artificially and engineer materials with impressive rigidity, hardness and wear-resistance. This will lead to new types of sustainable bio-materials made from proteins.”
Their planned online database will be the first in Singapore to store biomaterial data. It will contain detailed information about the characteristics the researchers have identified thus far, including biocomposites and adhesives. Since biomaterials are commonly used in medicine to replace failing body parts, such as heart valves and hip joints, this development highlights how useful a custom online database can be in the medical field.
In fact, many researchers in the medical profession are setting up custom online databases to study breakthroughs and increase collaborative efforts. One of the largest in existence today is the Maven Semantic Medical Database. The subscription database contains information on more than 5 million medical professionals and 500,000 medical organizations. Data can be found on biomaterial, pharmaceutical developers and medical device companies, as well as on a wide range of universities, research labs, hospitals and government research groups.