Liquid crystallinity in collagen solutions and magnetic orientation of collagen fibrils

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Abstract

Studies of the optical birefringence of solutions of acid‐soluble collagen from rat‐tail tendon at 22°C in the pH range 1.0–6.0 show that collagen exhibits an isotropic to mesophase transition only between pH 2.4 and 3.0 at 10% weight concentration. Such liquid crystalline order is probably essential for the orientation of collagen in a magnetic field. When solutions of neutral salt‐soluble collagen were precipitated at pH 7.0 by warming to 37°C (“heat gelling”) in a magnetic field of ca. 20 kG, the resulting fibrils wee oriented perpendicular to the direction of the field. Heat gelling is shown to be a useful technique for maintaining the orientation induced in precursor solutions even after the sample is removed from the magnetic field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1261-1267
Number of pages7
JournalBiopolymers
Volume23
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1984
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Organic Chemistry

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