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Issue 22, 2011
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Elastomechanical properties of resilin

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We report the results of the first investigation on the effect of polarity on the elastic properties of an elastomeric protein resilin found in different insects. We simulate tensile tests on four naturally occurring resilin motifs. We repeat simulations on reduced-polarity counterparts of these motifs by setting the charge on each atom to zero, setting the charge on each atom to one-half of the natural value, as well as by replacing all of the polar amino acids with non-polar substitutes. The results highlight a strong correlation between polarity and extensibility. This is due to the presence of adsorbed water molecules that assist deformation energy transfer from the polar motif, allowing it to stretch further before it undergoes failure. These results unambiguously characterize the influence of charge on the mechanical properties of proteins, thus creating pathways for future formulations of novel bioinspired elastomeric rubbers.

Graphical abstract: Elastomechanical properties of resilin

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The article was received on 21 Jun 2011, accepted on 23 Aug 2011 and first published on 27 Sep 2011

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM06163A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2011,7, 11006-11009
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    Elastomechanical properties of resilin

    R. Kappiyoor, G. Balasubramanian, D. M. Dudek and I. K. Puri, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 11006
    DOI: 10.1039/C1SM06163A

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