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Role of melanin in mechanical properties of Glycera jaws

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
2554 115 2006 10 PDF Available
Title
Role of melanin in mechanical properties of Glycera jaws
Abstract

The remarkable mechanical prowess of the jaws of the bloodworm Glycera dibranchiata appears to be a consequence of a robust cross-linked network of organic molecules, notably melanin and proteins, as well as small amounts of unmineralized Cu and a Cu-based mineral. The present study focuses on the role of melanin. Mechanical properties of untreated jaws and the constituent melanin are probed through nanoindentation, both in air and underwater. Complementary information is obtained from density and porosity measurements and attempts at Cu removal from the jaws using EDTA, an effective metal chelator in most biological systems. In near-tip regions of the jaws, mechanical properties attain the highest values and diminish only slightly when wet (by 15–25%), in contrast to the behavior of other organic biomaterials. The melanin constituent contributes significantly to the mechanical integrity of the jaw; its hardness and elastic modulus are about half those of untreated jaws. Although melanin may be the dominant shape-determining component of the structure, it remains to be shown whether jaw assembly is mediated by protein deposition on a melanin scaffold or, conversely, by melanin deposition on a protein scaffold. The inability of EDTA to chelate Cu from the jaws and the relatively high density of the jaws and the melanin support the notion of a highly cross-linked molecular structure. Finally, based on the metric H3/E2 (H being hardness and E the Young’s modulus), the results suggest that the abrasion resistance of the jaws is superior to all engineering polymers and competitive with the hardest metallic alloys.

Keywords
Biocomposite; Glycera; Hydration; Melanin; Nanoindentation
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Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 2, Issue 5, September 2006, Pages 521–530
Authors
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Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Bioengineering
Get Full-Text Now
Don't Miss Today's Special Offer
Price was $35.95
You save - $31
Price after discount Only $4.95
100% Money Back Guarantee
Full-text PDF Download
Online Support
Any Questions? feel free to contact us