Protein unfolding versus β-sheet separation in spider silk nanocrystals

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Parvez Alam
Editors: Nguyen Van Hieu
Publication year: 2014
Journal: Advances in Natural Sciences: Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Journal acronym: Adv. Nat. Sci: Nanosci. Nanotechnol.
Volume number: 5
Issue number: 1


In this communication a mechanism for spider silk strain hardening is proposed. Shear failure of β-sheet nanocrystals is the first failure mode that gives rise to the creation of smaller nanocrystals, which are of higher strength and stiffness. β-sheet unfolding requires more energy than nanocrystal separation in a shear mode of failure. As a result, unfolding occurs after the nanocrystals separate in shear. β-sheet unfolding yields a secondary strain hardening effect once the β-sheet conformation is geometrically stable and acts like a unidirectional fibre in a fibre reinforced composite. The mechanism suggested herein is based on molecular dynamics calculations of residual inter-β-sheet separation strengths against residual intra-β-sheet unfolding strengths

Last updated on 2019-22-11 at 03:52