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Fiorenzo Omenetto 談絲,古老材料的未來

Fiorenzo Omenetto: Silk, the ancient material of the future

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:Fiorenzo Omenetto

2011年3月演講,2011年5月在TED上線

 

翻譯:洪曉慧

編輯:朱學恆

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後製:洪曉慧

字幕影片後制:謝旻均

 

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閱讀中文字幕純文字版本

 

關於這場演講

Fiorenzo Omenetto分享20多種絲的驚人新用途,這是大自然最優雅的材料之一-能傳輸光、增進永續發展、增加物質強度並使醫療突飛猛進。他在講台上展示了一些用這種多用途材料製成的有趣物品。

 

關於Fiorenzo Omenetto

Fiorenzo Omenetto的研究橫跨非線性光學、奈米結構材料(如光子晶體及光子晶體纖維)、光流體及以光子為基礎的生物聚合物。他最近致力於發展絲的高科技應用。

 

為什麼要聽他演講

Fiorenzo Omenetto是塔夫茨大學生物醫學工程教授,及超快非線性光學和生醫光電實驗室的領導者,並擔任物理系教授。於塔夫茨大學任教前,他是洛斯阿拉莫斯國家實驗室的奧本海默前研究員,他的研究重點在於跨學科主題,橫跨非線性光學、奈米結構材料(如光子晶體及光子晶體纖維)、光流體及以光子為基礎的生物聚合物。他已發表過100多篇論文,並對這些不同學科的同行審查有所貢獻。

 

於2005年年底加入塔夫茨大學後,他提出並率先(與David Kaplan)使用絲作為光子、光電子及高科技應用的材料平台。這項新型研究平台最近被刊登在麻省理工學院科技評論中,被譽為2010年「十大可能改變世界的科技」之一。

 

Fiorenzo Omenetto的英語網上資料

Home: http://ase.tufts.edu/biomedical/unolab/home.html

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[TED科技‧娛樂‧設計]

已有中譯字幕的TED影片目錄(繁體)(簡體)。請注意繁簡目錄是不一樣的。

 

Fiorenzo Omenetto 談絲,古老材料的未來

謝謝,非常高興來到這裡,我要談的是一種仍然不斷為我們帶來驚喜的新型傳統材料,這或許會影響我們對材料科學及高科技的看法,也許隨著研究進展,也可以對醫藥及全球健康有所貢獻,並幫助重新造林,所以這多少算是一種大膽的宣言,我將多告訴你們一些這種材料,事實上,有一些特性讓它好到幾乎令人難以置信,它具有永續性,是一種永續材料,它的處理過程完全在水中及室溫下,並隨著時間而產生生物降解,所以你可以看到它瞬間溶於一杯水,或在其中維持多年穩定狀態。它是可食用的,可植入人體而不會引起任何免疫反應,它事實上能重新融入體內,它具有科技上的用途,所以它可以做一些像是微電子的產品,也許也可做光子產品,這種材料看起來像這樣,事實上,你看到的這種材料清澈而透明,這種材料的成分只有水和蛋白質。

 

這種材料就是絲。這跟我們一般印象中的絲有些不同,所以問題是,你如何徹底改造已經存在五千年的東西?大致上來說,這個發現過程的靈感來自於大自然,因此,我們對蠶感到驚嘆不已,你在圖片上看到的蠶正在紡絲,蠶做的事相當驚人:它用這兩種存在於牠腺體中成分,蛋白質和水,做成一種非常堅韌的保護材料,足以媲美像Kevlar之類的科技纖維。

 

因此,在這個我們知悉並熟悉的紡織工業所使用的逆向工程過程中,紡織工業的做法是將蠶繭散開,然後編織成迷人的東西。我們想知道如何從水和蛋白質做出這種液態的Kevlar,這種天然Kevlar纖維,因此,需要瞭解的是如何實際進行這個逆向工程,從蠶繭回溯到腺體,並取得水和蛋白質這些起始原料,這個過程是在大約二十年前,由一個我有幸能跟他合作的人,David Kaplan所發現的,因此我們得到了這個起始原料,讓這個起始原料回歸成基本成份,我們用這個做出各式各樣的東西,例如薄膜,我們利用的是非常簡單的東西,製成這些薄膜的配方就是利用以下這個事實:蛋白質對自己要做的事非常聰明,它們找出自我組裝的方式,因此配方很簡單:取出絲溶液,將它倒出,然後等待蛋白質自我組裝,然後將蛋白質分離,就會得到這個薄膜,彷彿蛋白質在水蒸發後找到彼此一般。

 

但我提過這種薄膜也是科技產物,這是什麼意思?這意味著你可以將它與一些典型的科技產物結合,如微電子和奈米科技,這張DVD的圖片只是為了說明一個重點,蠶絲能循著非常細微的表面形貌延伸,這意味著它們能複製奈米尺度的結構,因此,它能複製這片DVD上的資訊,我們可將資料與水和蛋白質形成薄膜而儲存,因此,我們試著做出一些東西,我們將訊息寫在一塊絲上,它在這裡,訊息在那裡,這相當像儲存在DVD裡的訊息,你可以用光來讀,這需要一隻穩定的手,這就是為什麼我決定在講台上、在上千人面前做這件事,讓我看看。所以,你看見這片薄膜的光穿透到那裡,然後...(掌聲)而最了不起的壯舉,其實是我的手能停住不動足夠長時間來做到這個。

 

所以一旦你瞭解這種材料的這些屬性,你就可以做很多事,它的用途事實上不限於薄膜,因此這種材料可以呈現很多形式,然後你可以做有點瘋狂的事,做各種光學元件,或可以做微稜鏡陣列結構產品,像球鞋上的反光條,或可以做漂亮的東西,如果攝影機可以拍到,你可以試看看,你可以在薄膜上加上第三個維度,如果角度正確,你可以看到顯現在這個絲質薄膜上的全像圖。但你也可以做其他的東西,你可以想像,也許可以用純蛋白質導光,所以我們已做出光纖。

 

但絲的用途廣泛超出光學範圍,你可以思考不同的形式,舉例來說,如果你怕看醫生而被打針,我們做出了微奈米針陣列,你在螢幕上看到的是一根人髮,疊放在用絲做成的針上,只是要讓你們對它的大小有個概念。你可以做較大的東西,你可以做齒輪,螺帽和螺栓,你可以在Whole Foods超市買到這個,齒輪在水中也可以運作,所以你可以考慮用它來代替機械零件,也許你可以使用這個液態Kevlar纖維,例如當你需要某種堅韌的東西取代周邊靜脈時,或也許是整根骨頭。你在這裡看到的是小型頭骨的樣本,我們稱他為迷你Yorick。(笑聲)但你可以做一些像杯子之類的東西,因此,如果加一點金,加一點半導體,你可以做貼在食物表面的感測器,你可以做能折疊和包覆的電子元件,或者,如果你走在時尚尖端,可以做一些絲製的LED刺青。

 

所以,如你所見,它具有多功能性,所以你可以用絲做出這些材料形式。但它還有一些獨特的特性,我的意思是,為什麼你會想真正做出這所有東西?我開始時簡要的提過這一點,蛋白質具生物降解和生物相容特性,你在這裡看到的圖片是組織切片。生物降解和生物相容性是指什麼?你可以將它植入體內,不需取出植入的東西,這意味著你之前見過的所有裝置和所有材料形式,原則上可以植入並消失。你在那個組織切片上看到的是,事實上,你看到的是反光條,所以,就像你夜間開車時看到的,這個想法是,如果你讓組織發光就可以看見它,你可以看到組織更深的部位,因為上面有這個用絲做成的反光條,你看這裡,它會重新融入組織,重新融入人體內。這不是它唯一的作用,但重新融入環境是很重要的,所以,你只要有個時鐘,有蛋白質,你可以沒有罪惡感的扔掉一個像這樣的絲質杯,不同於…(掌聲)不同於很不幸地每天填滿我們垃圾掩埋場的聚苯乙烯杯,它可以食用,所以可以做食品的智慧包裝,你可以將它跟食物一起煮。它不好吃,所以我在這方面將會需要一些幫助。

 

但或許最了不起的是:它的形成是個完整的循環,絲,在其自組裝過程中,就像一個生物物質的繭,所以,如果你改變配方,並在倒出時添加一些東西,所以你添加東西到液體絲溶液中,這些東西是酵素、抗體或疫苗。自我組裝過程中會保留這些摻雜物原本的生物功能,因此,它使這種材料具有環境上的活性和互動性,所以之前想到的那些螺絲,事實上可以用來將骨頭栓在一起,使斷掉的骨頭連接,並在骨頭癒合時供給藥物,或者你可以把藥物放進錢包,而不是冰箱。因此,我們已做出含有青黴素的絲質卡片,我們將青黴素儲存在攝氏60度,即華氏140度,歷時兩個月,青黴素的效用並未喪失,因此,這可能是---(掌聲)這對駱駝背上的太陽能冰箱來說,可能是一個很好的替代品。當然,如果你不能使用的話,它就會毫無作用,存在於儲存狀態中。

 

因此,這是這種材料另一個獨特的性質,就是它們可程式化的降解。你們在圖片中看到的是其中的差別。在頂端,你使一片薄膜經歷不被降解的過程,在底部,你使這片薄膜經歷在水中降解的過程。你所看到的是,底部薄膜釋放出其中所含的物質,因此它能讓我們之前儲存的物質回復,因此這能讓藥物的運輸受到控制,以及使你看過的這所有的材料形式重新融入環境。

 

因此我們真正發現的線索就是一根絲線。我們深受這些想法激勵,不管你想做什麼,無論是要替換靜脈或骨骼,或也許是讓微電子產品更具永續性,也許是喝了咖啡後將杯子丟掉而沒有罪惡感,也許是將你的藥裝在口袋中,將它們輸入體內,或將它們運過沙漠,這個答案可能就在一根絲中。

 

謝謝。

 

(掌聲)

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this talk

Fiorenzo Omenetto shares 20+ astonishing new uses for silk, one of nature's most elegant materials -- in transmitting light, improving sustainability, adding strength and making medical leaps and bounds. On stage, he shows a few intriguing items made of the versatile stuff.

About Fiorenzo Omenetto

Fiorenzo G. Omenetto's research spans nonlinear optics, nanostructured materials (such as photonic crystals and photonic crystal fibers), biomaterials and biopolymer-based photonics. Most recently,… Full bio and more links

Transcript

Thank you. I'm thrilled to be here. I'm going to talk about a new old material that still continues to amaze us, and that might impact the way we think about material science, high technology -- and maybe, along the way, also do some stuff for medicine and for global health and help reforestation. So that's kind of a bold statement. I'll tell you a little bit more. This material actually has some traits that make it seem almost too good to be true. It's sustainable; it's a sustainable material that is processed all in water and at room temperature -- and is biodegradable with a clock, so you can watch it dissolve instantaneously in a glass of water or have it stable for years. It's edible, it's implantable in the human body without causing any immune response. It actually gets reintegrated in the body. And it's technological, so it can do things like microelectronics, and maybe photonics do. And the material looks something like this. In fact, this material you see is clear and transparent. The components of this material are just water and protein.

So this material is silk. So it's kind of different from what we're used to thinking about silk. So the question is, how do you reinvent something that has been around for five millennia? The process of discovery, generally, is inspired by nature. And so we marvel at silk worms -- the silk worm you see here spinning its fiber. The silk worm does a remarkable thing: it uses these two ingredients, protein and water, that are in its gland, to make a material that is exceptionally tough for protection -- so comparable to technical fibers like Kevlar. And so in the reverse engineering process that we know about, and that we're familiar with, for the textile industry, the textile industry goes and unwinds the cocoon and then weaves glamorous things. We want to know how you go from water and protein to this liquid Kevlar, to this natural Kevlar.

So the insight is how do you actually reverse engineer this and go from cocoon to gland and get water and protein that is your starting material. And this is an insight that came about two decades ago from a person that I'm very fortunate to work with, David Kaplan. And so we get this starting material. And so this starting material is back to the basic building block. And then we use this to do a variety of things -- like for example, film. And we take advantage of something that is very simple. The recipe to make those films is to take advantage of the fact that proteins are extremely smart at what they do. They find their way to self-assemble. So the recipe is simple: you take the silk solution, you pour it, and you wait for the protein to self-assemble. And then you detach the protein and you get this film, as the proteins find each other as [the water evaporates.]

But I mentioned that the film is also technological. And so what does that mean? It means that you can interface it with some of the things that are typical of technology, like microelectronics and nanoscale technology. And the image of the DVD here is just to illustrate a point that silk follows very subtle topographies of the surface, which means that they can replicate features on the nanoscale. So it would be able to replicate the information that is on the DVD. And we can store information that's film with water and protein. So we tried something out, and we wrote a message in a piece of silk, which is right here, and the message is over there. And much like in the DVD, you can read it out optically. And this requires a stable hand, so this is why I decided to do it onstage in front of a thousand people. So let me see. So as you see the film go in transparently through there, and then ... (Applause) And the most remarkable feat is that my hand actually stayed still long enough to do that.

So once you have these attributes of this material, then you can do a lot of things. It's actually not limited to films. And so the material can assume a lot of formats. And then you go a little crazy, and so you do various optical components or you do microprism arrays, like the reflective tape that you have on your running shoes. Or you can do beautiful things that, if the camera can capture, you can make. You can add a third dimensionality to the film. And if the angle is right, you can actually see a hologram appear in this film of silk. But you can do other things. You can imagine that then maybe you an use a pure protein to guide light, and so we've made optical fibers.

But silk is versatile and it goes beyond optics. And you can think of different formats. So for instance, if you're afraid of going to the doctor and getting stuck with a needle, we do microneedle arrays. What you see there on the screen is a human hair superimposed on the needle that's made of silk -- just to give you a sense of size. You can do bigger things. You can do gears and nuts and bolts -- that you can buy at Whole Foods. And the gears work in water as well. So you think of alternative mechanical parts. And maybe you can use that liquid Kevlar if you need something strong to replace peripheral veins, for example, or maybe an entire bone. And so you have here a little example of a small skull -- what we call mini Yorick. (Laughter) But you can do things like cups, for example, and so, if you add a little bit of gold, if you add a little bit of semiconductors you could do sensors that stick on the surfaces of foods. You can do electronic pieces that fold and wrap. Or if you're fashion forward, some silk LED tattoos.

So there's versatility, as you see, in the material formats, that you can do with silk. But there are still some unique traits. I mean, why would you want to do all these things for real? I mentioned it briefly at the beginning; the protein is biodegradable and biocompatible. And you see here a picture of a tissue section. And so what does that mean, that it's biodegradable and biocompatible? You can implant it in the body without needing to retrieve what is implanted. Which means that all the devices that you've seen before and all the formats, in principle, can be implanted and disappear. And what you see there in that tissue section, is, in fact, you see that reflector tape. So, much like you're seen at night by a car, then the idea is that you can see, if you illuminate tissue, you can see deeper parts of tissue because there is that reflective tape there that is made out of silk. And you see there, it gets reintegrated in tissue. And reintegration in the human body is not the only thing. But reintegration in the environment is important. So you have a clock, you have protein, and now a silk cup like this can be thrown away without guilt. (Applause) Unlike the polystyrene cups that unfortunately fill our landfills everyday. It's edible, so you can do smart packaging around food that you can cook with the food. It doesn't taste good, so I'm going to need some help with that.

But probably the most remarkable thing is that it comes full circle. Silk, during its self-assembly process, acts like a cocoon for biological matter. And so if you change the recipe, and you add things when you pour -- so you add things to your liquid silk solution -- where these things are enzymes or antibodies or vaccines, the self-assembly process preserves the biological function of these dopants. So it makes the materials environmentally active and interactive. So that screw that you thought about beforehand can actually be used to screw a bone together -- a fractured bone together -- and deliver drugs at the same, while your bone is healing, for example. Or you could put drugs in your wallet and not in your fridge. So we've made a silk card with penicillin in it. And we stored penicillin at 60 degrees C, so 140 degrees Fahrenheit, for two months without loss of efficacy of the penicillin. And so that could be --- (Applause) that could be potentially a good alternative to solar powered refrigerated camels. And of course, there's no use in storage if you can't use.

And so there is this other unique material trait that these materials have, that they're programmably degradable. And so what you see there is the difference. In the top, you have a film that has been programmed not to degrade, and in the bottom, a film that has been programmed to degrade in water. And what you see is that the film on the bottom releases what is inside it. So it allows for the recovery of what we've stored before. And so this allows for a controlled delivery of drugs and for reintegration in the environment in all of these formats that you've seen.

So the thread of discovery that we have really is a thread. We're impassioned with this idea that whatever you want to do, whether you want to replace a vein or a bone, or maybe be more sustainable in microelectronics, perhaps drink a coffee in a cup and throw it away without guilt, maybe carry your drugs in your pocket, deliver them inside your body or deliver them across the desert, the answer may be in a thread of silk.

Thank you.

(Applause)
 


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