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Biophys J. 2012 Nov 21;103(10):2177-86. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2012.10.017. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

Structural origins of chiral second-order optical nonlinearity in collagen: amide I band.

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  • 1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA, USA.


The molecular basis of nonlinear optical (NLO) chiral effects in the amide I region of type I collagen was investigated using sum-frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy; chiral and achiral tensor elements were separated using different input/output beam polarization conditions. Spectra were obtained from native rat tail tendon (RTT) collagen and from cholesteric liquid crystal-like (LC) type I collagen films. Although RTT and LC collagen both possess long-range order, LC collagen lacks the complex hierarchical organization of RTT collagen. Their spectra were compared to assess the role of such organization in NLO chirality. No significant differences were observed between RTT and LC with respect to chiral or achiral spectra. These findings suggest that amide I NLO chiral effects in type I collagen assemblies arise predominantly from the chiral organization of amide chromophores within individual collagen molecules, rather than from supramolecular structures. The study suggests that sum-frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy may be uniquely valuable in exploring fundamental aspects of chiral nonlinearity in complex macromolecular structures.

Copyright © 2012 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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