Markus J Buehler

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Collagen is a protein material with superior mechanical properties. It consists of collagen fibrils composed of a staggered array of ultra-long tropocollagen (TC) molecules. Theoretical and molecular modeling suggests that this natural design of collagen fibrils maximizes the strength and provides large energy dissipation during deformation, thus creating a(More)
Silk features exceptional mechanical properties such as high tensile strength and great extensibility, making it one of the toughest materials known. The exceptional strength of silkworm and spider silks, exceeding that of steel, arises from beta-sheet nanocrystals that universally consist of highly conserved poly-(Gly-Ala) and poly-Ala domains. This is(More)
Collagen is a protein material with intriguing mechanical properties - it is highly elastic, shows large fracture strength and plays a crucial role in making Nature's structural materials tough. Collagen based tissues consist of collagen fibrils, each of which is composed out of a staggered array of ultra-long tropocollagen molecules extending to several(More)
We report studies of the mechanical properties of tropocollagen molecules under different types of mechanical loading including tension, compression, shear, and bending. Our modeling yields predictions of the fracture strength of single tropocollagen molecules and polypeptides, and also allows for quantification of the interactions between tropocollagen(More)
Collagen constitutes one-third of the human proteome, providing mechanical stability, elasticity, and strength to organisms and is the prime construction material in biology. Collagen is also the dominating material in the extracellular matrix and its stiffness controls cell differentiation, growth, and pathology. However, the origin of the unique(More)
Collagen is an important structural protein in vertebrates and is responsible for the integrity of many tissues like bone, teeth, cartilage and tendon. The mechanical properties of these tissues are primarily determined by their hierarchical arrangement and the role of the collagen matrix in their structures. Here we report a series of Steered Molecular(More)
Biological protein materials feature hierarchical structures that make up a diverse range of physiological materials. The analysis of protein materials is an emerging field that uses the relationships between biological structures, processes and properties to probe deformation and failure phenomena at the molecular and microscopic level. Here we discuss how(More)
Mineralized biological materials such as bone, sea sponges or diatoms provide load-bearing and armor functions and universally feature structural hierarchies from nano to macro. Here we report a systematic investigation of the effect of hierarchical structures on toughness and defect-tolerance based on a single and mechanically inferior brittle base(More)
The fundamental fracture mechanisms of biological protein materials remain largely unknown, in part, because of a lack of understanding of how individual protein building blocks respond to mechanical load. For instance, it remains controversial whether the free energy landscape of the unfolding behavior of proteins consists of multiple, discrete transition(More)