Byssal threads of marine mussels form quickly via liquid crystal phase proteins.


"In marine mussels (Mytilus), byssal threads are made in minutes from prefabricated smectic polymer liquid crystals by a process resembling reaction injection molding. The mesogens in these arrays are known to be natural block copolymers with rodlike collagen cores." (Hassenkam et al. 2004:1351)

Journal article
Giant Bent-Core Mesogens in the Thread Forming Process of Marine MusselsHassenkam, T.; Gutsmann, T.; Hansma, P.; Sagert, J.; Waite, J. H.

Journal article
Mussel-Inspired Surface Chemistry for Multifunctional CoatingsLee H; Dellatore SM; Miller WM; Messersmith PB

Mediterranean mussel