mucins

04/26/2012 - 10:47

Mucus, which coats wet surfaces in the bodies of all animals, is the body’s first line of defense. It allows nutrients, other vital molecules and sperm to enter, but keeps out pathogens such as certain dangerous viruses and bacteria. Ribbeck, the Eugene Bell Career Development Assistant Professor of Biological Engineering, is trying to figure out how mucus achieves this selectivity. Of particular interest is the role of mucins, the major building blocks of mucus.