Formas research grant to BioNut researcher
We wish to congratulate Axel Abelein at BioNut who has received Formas research project grant for early-career researchers for a project on Development of new protein-based biomaterials for sustainable purification of heavy metals from water.
Assistant professor Axel Abelein at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition has received 3.99 million SEK in grants from Formas. The research that Formas funds are required to bring potential benefits to society within the fields of environment, agricultural sciences and spatial planning.
In this project novel biomaterials will be produced in the form of nanofibers or hydrogels, built up by designed proteins tailored for efficient, specific and controllable metal ion binding. These proteins consist of a hyper-soluble part, derived from spider silk proteins, and an optimized metal ion binding peptide sequence. Due to the customized design, the metal ion binding is highly specific and exhibits enhanced binding affinity compared to existing materials. The developed biomaterials are also biodegradable – an intrinsic property of protein materials – and provide cost-efficient ways for metal recycling based on the high ion specificity and controlled release of metal ions.