Gwak, Y., Park, J. I., Kim, M., Kim, H. S., Kwon, M. J., Oh, S. J., … & Jin, E. (2015). Creating anti-icing surfaces via the direct immobilization of antifreeze proteins on aluminum. Scientific Reports, 5, 12019.
Cryoprotectants such as antifreeze proteins (AFPs) and sugar molecules may provide a solution for icing problems. These anti-icing substances protect cells and tissues from freezing by inhibiting ice formation. In this study, we developed a method for coating an industrial metal material (aluminum, Al) with AFP from the Antarctic marine diatom, Chaetoceros neogracile (Cn-AFP), to prevent or delay ice formation. To coat Al with Cn-AFP, we used an Al-binding peptide (ABP) as a conjugator and fused it with Cn-AFP. The ABP bound well to the Al and did not considerably change the functional properties of AFP. Cn-AFP-coated Al (Cn-AFP-Al) showed a sufficiently low supercooling point. Additional trehalose coating of Cn-AFP-Al considerably delayed AFP denaturation on the Al without affecting its antifreeze activity. This metal surface–coating method using trehalose-fortified AFP can be applied to other metals important in the aircraft and cold storage fields where anti-icing materials are critical.