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Biophys J. 2011 Apr 20;100(8):2053-62. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.02.015.

Determination of collagen nanostructure from second-order susceptibility tensor analysis.

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  • 1Department of Physics, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.


A model is proposed to describe the polarization dependence of second harmonic generation (SHG) from type I collagen fibrils. The model is based on sum-frequency vibrational spectrum experiments that attribute the molecular origins of collagen second-order susceptibility to the peptide groups in the backbone of the collagen α-helix and the methylene groups in the pyrrolidine rings. Applying our model to a polarization SHG (P-SHG) experiment leads to a predicted collagen I peptide pitch-angle of 45.82° ± 0.46° and methylene pitch-angle of 94.80° ± 0.97°. Compared to a previous model that accounts for only the peptide contribution, our results are more consistent with the x-ray diffraction determination of collagen-like peptide. Application of our model to type II collagen from rat trachea cartilage leads to similar results. The peptide pitch-angle of 45.72° ± 1.17° is similar to that of type I collagen, but a different methylene pitch-angle of 97.87° ± 1.79° was found. Our work demonstrates that far-field P-SHG measurements can be used to extract molecular structural information of collagen fibers.

Copyright © 2011 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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