Uncovering the secrets to elastin’s flexibility
Elastin, a crucial building block in our bodies, and its remarkable flexibility has remained an unsolved question — until now. Published in Science Advances from a team including doctoral student Anna Tarakanova SM ’15 and Department Head Markus Buehler, a new analysis of this protein-based tissue reveals the details of a hierarchical structure of scissor-shaped molecules that give elastin its properties. “The integration of experiment and modeling … yields important insights for the design of new materials that replace those in our body, or for materials that we can use in engineering applications in which durable materials are critical,” says Buehler. Read the article.