Uncovering nanoscale electromechanical heterogeneity in the subfibrillar structure of collagen fibrils responsible for the piezoelectricity of bone

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Abstract

Understanding piezoelectricity, the linear electromechanical transduction, in bone and tendon and its potential role in mechanoelectric transduction leading to their growth and remodeling remains a challenging subject. With high-resolution piezoresponse force microscopy, we probed piezoelectric behavior in relevant biological samples at different scale levels: from the subfibrillar structures of single isolated collagen fibrils to bone. We revealed that, beyond the general understanding of collagen fibril being a piezoelectric material, there existed an intrinsic piezoelectric heterogeneity within a collagen fibril coinciding with the periodic variation of its gap and overlap regions. This piezoelectric heterogeneity persisted even for the collagen fibrils embedded in bone, bringing about new implications for its possible roles in structural formation and remodeling of bone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1859-1863
Number of pages5
JournalACS nano
Volume3
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 28 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bone
  • Collagen fibril
  • Heterogeneity
  • Hierarchy
  • Piezoelectricity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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