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Sequence Specific Role of Water in Spontaneous Local Unwinding of Collagen

[+] Author Affiliations
Krishnakumar M. Ravikumar, Wonmuk Hwang

Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Paper No. SBC2007-175435, pp. 775-776; 2 pages
  • ASME 2007 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • ASME 2007 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • Keystone, Colorado, USA, June 20–24, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Bioengineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4798-5
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the human body. Due to its biological significance and omnipresence, it has been intensely studied for several decades both at the molecular and at the tissue level. A single collagen molecule is a rope like super helix of three α-chains. Collagen molecules self assemble in an orderly fashion to form different suprastructures such as fibrils and networks, providing mechanical strength to the tissue. Collagen density and suprastructural organization determines the local mechanical tension in a particular region of the tissue. Cells sense the tension and in turn trigger a controlled process of growth and remodeling of tissues through secretion or degradation of extracellular components including collagen. Tissue homeostasis is a complex process and adding to such complexity, a single collagen molecule is unstable at body temperature [1], but its stability increases after self-assembly and cross-linking.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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