University of Cambridge > > Biological and Statistical Physics discussion group (BSDG) > An energy landscape study highlights the well engineered thermodynamics of collagen.

An energy landscape study highlights the well engineered thermodynamics of collagen.

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Salvatore Tesoro.

Can we design materials to handle energetic throughputs without disrupting their structure? Biology can. Indeed biology makes many complex materials which can inspire us to design materials with high performance that will improve our ability to manage the planet. Here I present a study of collagen using energy landscape techniques. I explain how the resulting model, with supporting data from NMR studies, suggest that collagen may be able to change conformation without a significant energy penalty. The resulting flexibility in conformation means that the equilibrium conformation across a particular range of temperatures is dominated by the entropy of the ring puckering system, resulting in thermal and mechanical stability. In effect, our study shows that collagen may be considered as an entropic spring and this has consequences in terms of heat dissipation of mechanical shocks. By discussing the thermodynamic properties of collagen I highlight how consideration of the molecular details of a material can have dramatic effects at the macroscopic levels. In turn, I briefly discuss how this may help us manage the deep relationship between global energy consumption and the manufacturing and molecular design of materials.

This talk is part of the Biological and Statistical Physics discussion group (BSDG) series.

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