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Natural materials provide an increasingly important role model for the development and processing of next generation polymers. The velvet worm Euperipatoides rowelli hunts using a projectile, mechanoresponsive adhesive slime that rapidly and reversibly transitions into stiff glassy polymer fibers following shear and drying. However, the molecular mechanism underlying this mechanoresponsive behavior is still unclear. Previous work showed the slime to be an emulsion of nanoscale charge-stabilized condensed droplets comprised primarily of large phosphorylated proteins, which under mechanical shear, coalesce and self-organize into nano- and micro-fibrils that can be drawn into macroscopic fibers. Here, we utilize wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) and vibrational spectroscopy coupled with in situ shear deformation to explore the contribution of protein conformation and mechanical forces to the fiber formation process. Although previously believed to be unstructured, our findings indicate that the main phosphorylated protein component possesses a significant -crystalline structure in the storage phase and that shear-induced partial unfolding of the protein is a key first step in the rapid self-organization of nanodroplets into fibers. The insights gained here have relevance for sustainable production of advanced polymeric materials.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: ACS nano
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The internal resistance of a material to moving some parts of it parallel to a fixed plane, in contrast to stretching (TENSILE STRENGTH) or compression (COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH). Ionic crystals are brittle because, when subjected to shear, ions of the same charge are brought next to each other, which causes repulsion.
The interval between two successive CELL DIVISIONS during which the CHROMOSOMES are not individually distinguishable. It is composed of the G phases (G1 PHASE; G0 PHASE; G2 PHASE) and S PHASE (when DNA replication occurs).
Functionalization of exogenous substances to prepare them for conjugation in PHASE II DETOXIFICATION. Phase I enzymes include CYTOCHROME P450 enzymes and some OXIDOREDUCTASES. Excess induction of phase I over phase II detoxification leads to higher levels of FREE RADICALS that can induce CANCER and other cell damage. Induction or antagonism of phase I detoxication is the basis of a number of DRUG INTERACTIONS.
The period of the CELL CYCLE following DNA synthesis (S PHASE) and preceding M PHASE (cell division phase). The CHROMOSOMES are tetraploid in this point.
The complex series of phenomena, occurring between the end of one CELL DIVISION and the end of the next, by which cellular material is duplicated and then divided between two daughter cells. The cell cycle includes INTERPHASE, which includes G0 PHASE; G1 PHASE; S PHASE; and G2 PHASE, and CELL DIVISION PHASE.
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