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Technology Commercialization and Partnerships Division

Biomimetic Materials for Protein Storage and Transport (ANL-IN-05-037)

Enabling storage of proteins in their native state

The Invention 

A-D are schematic representations of the topology of polymer-grafted lipidbased complex fluid showing the effects of various tem

Argonne has invented a unique, first of its kind method for storing proteins in their native state for assay, application and delivery to sites outside of initial extraction and storage facilities. 

Membrane proteins represent an important class of proteins and comprise the vast majority of drug targets being studied. In contrast to soluble proteins, however, it is difficult to produce sizeable quantities in natively folded, functional and relatively pure form. 

Argonne’s invention preserves both soluble and membrane proteins in their native state, making further characterization of their structures and functions possible. The method facilitates storage of the protein and enables in situ characterization of the proteins. The invention also provides a biocompatible medium that provides a cellular mimetic environment for the encapsulation and organization of a wide range of proteins and complexes. 


  • Allows isolation and maintenance of protein in its native state 
  • Provides a means for extracting protein from its native environment via a thermo reversible phase transition 
  • Allows indefinite storage of embedded protein 
  • Provides a vehicle to extract, store, transport and reuse membrane proteins 
  • Allows insertion and recovery of protein in storage 

Applications and Industries 

  • Biological laboratories 
  • Pharmaceutical companies 
  • Diagnostics 
  • Protein therapeutics 
  • Research and development

Developmental Stage 

Reduced to practice