The liquid coacervate formation was carried out as described earlier (18, 20). Briefly, never-dried and dilute protein solutions [0.01% (w/v)] of CBM-eADF3-CBM and CBM-ADF3-CBM in water were gradually concentrated over the critical protein concentration of 0.8% (w/v) until micrometer-size coacervate droplets formed. Samples were further concentrated to reach the final working and storage volume of 1 ml and the overall concentration of 4% (w/v). This at the end led to the formation of a protein-rich phase of about 600 to 650 μl. The mixture was frozen in liquid nitrogen and stored at −80°C. Unless stated otherwise, proteins were in water without the presence of any salts or organic compounds, which would interfere with the colloidal stability of the native CNFs. For other constructs (CBM, CBM-CBM, AQ12, and CBM-AQ12), the same procedure was done with the difference that none of these constructs underwent coacervation.

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