Solid peptide glass after preparation held by Dr. Finkelstein-Zuta (Tel Aviv University)

In an unprecedented leap forward in material science, researchers at Tel Aviv University have unveiled a groundbreaking method for producing glass that is not only simpler to manufacture but also boasts self-healing properties. This innovation, discovered by PhD student Gal Finkelstein-Zuta, promises to revolutionize a multitude of scientific and technological fields.

A Serendipitous Discovery

The discovery began unexpectedly when Finkelstein-Zuta accidentally dropped some peptide powder into water. “It dissolved like making Kool-Aid,” Finkelstein-Zuta told The Times of Israel. The following day, she was astonished to find that glass had spontaneously formed after the water had evaporated.

Innovative Properties and Applications

Working under the guidance of Prof. Ehud Gazit in the biomedicine and material sciences schools, alongside other researchers globally, Finkelstein-Zuta identified several remarkable properties of the newly formed glass. This glass exhibits self-healing capabilities, enabling it to repair its own cracks. It also possesses adhesive qualities, allowing it to bond pieces of glass together. Furthermore, it is more transparent than conventional glass, capable of transmitting a broader spectrum of light waves.

Implications for Technology and Science

The implications of this discovery are vast. According to the research team, this new glass could simplify the manufacturing processes for a wide array of technologies, from optical lenses to satellite communications equipment. The ability to form glass at room temperature, without the need for high heat or pressure, marks a significant departure from traditional glass manufacturing techniques.

Understanding the Science Behind the Glass

Traditional glass is manufactured through a process called vitrification, where molten materials are rapidly cooled to form a solid. In contrast, the glass discovered by the TAU team forms spontaneously at room temperature from an aqueous solution of aromatic peptides, specifically a three-tyrosine sequence (YYY). This process requires no additional energy, making it a more sustainable and efficient method of glass production.

Practical Demonstrations

Finkelstein-Zuta and her team have demonstrated practical applications of their discovery by creating lenses from the new glass. Instead of the traditional, labor-intensive process of grinding and polishing, they simply dripped a solution onto a surface, controlling the curvature and focus by adjusting the volume of the solution. This method exemplifies the ease and precision with which the new glass can be manipulated.

Expert Endorsements

Prof. Ehud Gazit emphasized the uniqueness of their discovery: “This is the first time anyone has succeeded in creating molecular glass under such simple conditions. The glass we created is incredibly strong and significantly more transparent than ordinary glass. It is transparent deep into the infrared range, making it highly valuable for applications in satellites, remote sensing, communications, and optics.”

Future Prospects

The new glass’s self-healing and adhesive properties, combined with its superior transparency, suggest a myriad of potential applications that could transform various scientific and engineering fields. “We got all this from a single peptide – one little piece of protein,” Gazit noted, highlighting the simplicity and elegance of the discovery.


This remarkable breakthrough by Tel Aviv University not only simplifies the glass manufacturing process but also opens new doors to technological advancements. As researchers continue to explore the full potential of this innovative material, the future of glass production looks brighter and more promising than ever.

For further information, contact:
Tel Aviv University, Department of Biomedicine and Material Sciences
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +972 3-640-8111

Sign Up For The Judean Newsletter

I agree with the Terms and conditions and the Privacy policy