A simulation study on the significant nanomechanical heterogeneous properties of collagen

Zhong Zhou, Majid Minary-Jolandan, Dong Qian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Nanomechanics of individual collagen fibrils govern the mechanical behavior of the majority of connective tissues, yet the current models lack significant details. Majority of the current models assume a rod-shape molecule with homogenous mechanical properties. Recent X-ray crystallography revealed significantly different microstructures in the D-period of collagen microfibrils, markedly different from the conventionally assumed rod-shaped molecule. Motivated by this recent microstructure, the nanomechanics of hydrated collagen molecules are investigated through molecular dynamics simulations. The results reveal significant mechanical heterogeneity in individual collagen molecules, which is expected to significantly impact the biomechanics of collagen fibrils in healthy and diseased tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-457
Number of pages13
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 15 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Collagen fibrils
  • Collagen molecules
  • Elastic limit
  • Mechanical heterogeneity
  • Steered molecular dynamics
  • Young’s modulus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanical Engineering


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