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Mechanical Properties of Hierarchical Protein Materials

Synonyms

Biomolecular mechanics; Hierarchical mechanics; Materiomics; Mechanical properties of biological materials

Definition

Mechanical properties of proteins define the behavior of the deformation and failure of proteins and protein-based biological and synthetic materials.

Overview

With only 20 standard amino acids as universal building blocks, evolutionary adaptation has resulted in a multitude of polypeptides and protein structures with a wide range of properties and applications [1]. A fundamental application of protein materials is mechanical, providing static and dynamic support and defenses for the organisms they comprise. To achieve specialized mechanical properties, animal tissue shows a wide range of complex, structured composites composed of proteins (e.g., collagen, keratin, chitin) and inorganic minerals (e.g., calcite, hydroxyapatite, and aragonite) [2, 3]. Instead of summarizing primarily single-molecule