Computational Materials Science of Bionanomaterials: Structure, Mechanical Properties and Applications of Elastin and Collagen Proteins

Abstract

Elastin and collagen are two major protein components found in the extracellular matrix (ECM) in various tissues of the body. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the ECM, providing necessary structural support to tissues. Elastin, by contrast, provides elasticity and recoil, very important in tissues such as the lungs, blood vessels, and skin. Both proteins are essential to healthy function, and mutations and deficiencies in either one may lead to disease. In this chapter, we consider the hierarchical assembly and structure of elastin and collagen and review the mechanical properties of both proteins across different length scales. We then consider key computational studies that have provided insight into specific functions or dysfunctions of elastin and collagen. In our focus on elastin, we provide an overview of computational studies that have explored the source of elastin’s elasticity and identified its peculiar property of assuming increased structure upon heating, a property termed the inverse temperature transition, significant for potential application of elastin in novel biomaterials. In our focus on collagen, we discuss the rare genetic disorder, osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease, where mechanical and structural effects have been identified through experimental and computational studies at multiple scales.

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Title
Computational Materials Science of Bionanomaterials: Structure, Mechanical Properties and Applications of Elastin and Collagen Proteins
Book Title
Handbook of Nanomaterials Properties
Book DOI
10.1007/978-3-642-31107-9
Chapter DOI
10.1007/978-3-642-31107-9_14
Part of
Volume
Editors
  • Bharat Bhushan Send Email (1)
  • Dan Luo Send Email (2)
  • Scott R. Schricker Send Email (3)
  • Wolfgang Sigmund Send Email (4)
  • Stefan Zauscher Send Email (5)
  • Editor Affiliation
  • 1 Nanoprobe Laboratory for Bio- & Nanotechnology and Biomimetics, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  • 2 Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA
  • 3 Division of Restorative, Prosthetic and Primary Care, The Ohio State University, College of Dentistry, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  • 4 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
  • 5 Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  • Authors
  • Anna Tarakanova (6)
  • Shu-Wei Chang (6)
  • Markus J. Buehler Send Email (6) (7)
  • Author Affiliation
  • 6 Laboratory for Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics (LAMM), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Room 1-235A&B, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA
  • 7 Center for Computational Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA
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