Programmable biofilm-based materials from engineered curli nanofibres

Nat Commun. 2014 Sep 17;5:4945. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5945.


The significant role of biofilms in pathogenicity has spurred research into preventing their formation and promoting their disruption, resulting in overlooked opportunities to develop biofilms as a synthetic biological platform for self-assembling functional materials. Here we present Biofilm-Integrated Nanofiber Display (BIND) as a strategy for the molecular programming of the bacterial extracellular matrix material by genetically appending peptide domains to the amyloid protein CsgA, the dominant proteinaceous component in Escherichia coli biofilms. These engineered CsgA fusion proteins are successfully secreted and extracellularly self-assemble into amyloid nanofibre networks that retain the functions of the displayed peptide domains. We show the use of BIND to confer diverse artificial functions to the biofilm matrix, such as nanoparticle biotemplating, substrate adhesion, covalent immobilization of proteins or a combination thereof. BIND is a versatile nanobiotechnological platform for developing robust materials with programmable functions, demonstrating the potential of utilizing biofilms as large-scale designable biomaterials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid / chemistry
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Biofilms*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / chemistry
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Materials Testing
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Mutation
  • Nanofibers / chemistry*
  • Nanotechnology
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / chemistry
  • Silver / chemistry
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Stainless Steel
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Amyloid
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • csgA protein, E coli
  • Stainless Steel
  • Silver