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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Institute of Technology
Department of Mechanical Engineering

PI: John C. Bischof
Co-PI: Jonathan N. Sachs, Associate Fellow

Nanoscale Thermal Unfolding of Single Tropocollagen Molecule

Thermal stability of collagen is critical to the outcome of nearly all thermally mediated applications to biomaterials such as burn injuries, thermokeratoplasty (corneal treatment for farsightedness), skin resurfacing, and thermal therapies in ligaments and tendons. While numerous tissue-level studies characterizing the thermal denaturation kinetics of different collagenous tissues have reported in the last few decades, an improvement in the efficacy of these treatments requires an understanding of the molecular mechanisms at the nanoscale. The objective of this study is to understand the nanoscale thermal unfolding kinetics of a single tropocollagen molecule using molecular dynamics simulations.

Group Members

Jason Perlmutter, Graduate Student
Mayur Suri, Graduate Student
Ramji Venkatasubramanian, Graduate Student