Deformation Mechanisms of "two-Part" Natural Adhesive in Bone Interfibrillar Nano-Interfaces

Reza Morsali, Zhengwei Dai, Yang Wang, Dong Qian, Majid Minary-Jolandan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Noncollagenous proteins at nanoscale interfaces in bone are less than 2-3% of bone content by weight, while they contribute more than 30% to fracture toughness. Major gaps in quantitative understanding of noncollagenous proteins' role in the interfibrillar interfaces, largely because of the limitation of probing their nanoscale dimension, have resulted in ongoing controversies and several outstanding hypotheses on their role and function, arguably going back to centuries ago to the original work from Galileo. Our results from the first detailed computational model of the nano-interface in the bone reveal "synergistic" deformation mechanism of a "double-part" natural glue, that is, noncollagenous osteopontin and osteocalcin at the interfibrillar interface. Specifically, through strong anchoring and formation of dynamic binding sites on mineral nanoplatelets, the nano-interface can sustain a large nonlinear deformation with ductility approaching 5000%. This large deformation results in an outstanding specific energy to failure exceeding ∼350 J/g, which is larger than the most known tough materials (such as Kevlar, spider silk, and so forth.).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5916-5924
Number of pages9
JournalACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 11 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • bone protein interface
  • bone toughness
  • computational simulation
  • energy dissipation
  • nano-interface
  • natural glue
  • steered molecular dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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