Type II collagen and hyaluronan are the two major components of extracellular molecules in cartilage and play an important role in mechanical functions of extracellular matrix. Currently, their mechanical properties have been investigated only at the gross-level. In this study, the mechanical properties of single type II collagen and hyaluronan molecules were directly measured using optical tweezers technique. The persistence length was found to be 11.2±8.4 nm in type II collagen and 4.5 ± 1.2 nm in hyaluronan. This result suggested that type II collagen is suffer than hyaluronan at the individual molecule level, which supports the general concept that collagen is responsible for resisting tensile force. The experimental system developed here also provides a powerful tool for quantifying mechanical properties of extracellular matrix at the single molecule level.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)