Collagen pp 155-173 | Cite as

Nanoscale Deformation Mechanisms in Collagen

  • H.S. Gupta


The mechanical properties of collagen Type I tissues are, like many biological connective tissues, crucially dependent on the hierarchical architecture at the nanometer and micron length scale. Triple helical collagen molecules aggregate into ordered fibrils of ∼ 100–200,nm diameter, which in turn can form parallel-fibered fiber bundles or lamellae at the micron level in tendon, bone and other tissues. To determine quantitatively the structural response of elements at each level in the structural hierarchy to applied mechanical stresses, in situ methods, which combine a high-resolution structural determination tool like x-ray scattering along with micromechanical testing, are a unique tool. These methods have recently provided a range of information and insights into the actual deformation processes occurring at the molecular, fibrillar and fiber bundle level in both unmineralized and mineralized collagen tissue types. In this chapter, we provide an overview of our current understanding of the nanoscale deformation processes in tendon, bone and related tissues.


Collagen Molecule Tissue Strain Tendon Collagen Biophysical Journal Cyclic Tensile Strain 
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  • H.S. Gupta

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