Collagen Mechanics: Role of Structural Hierarchy

Dinesh R. Katti, Shashindra M. Pradhan, and Kalpana S. Katti


Collagen, Steered Molecular Dynamics, Mechanics, Mechanical Properties, Proteins, Helix


Collagen is a triple helical fibrous protein abundant in mammals and found in extracellular matrix and connective tissues. Its triple helix is composed of three polypeptide chains known as alpha chains, which are bound together by the inter-chain hydrogen bonds. The alpha chains are left handed helical structures, three of which are twisted together into the right handed helical structure. We have carried out a steered molecular dynamics of a collagen molecule to understand the role of different helical hierarchies in the deformation response of collagen. In addition to the role of left and right handed helix present in collagen we have also investigated the role of helical turns found along the length of full-length collagen which is reported in our previous molecular dynamics study.

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