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Proposing Institution

Project Manager

Prof. Dr. Frauke Graeter
Schloss-Wolfsbrunnenweg 35
69118 Heidelberg
Biological fibrous materials such as collagen and spider silk play a central role in nature due to their outstanding mechanical properties such as strength, toughness, and flexibility. We aim to investigate how these properties are determined by their molecular structure. Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals and the major component of load-bearing tissues. It provides strength and mechanical. Much is known about collagen’s mechanical properties from experiments but their molecular bases are largely unknown. To investigate how physiological load on collagen relates to the forces in individual molecular bonds of collagen and which bonds are subjected to the highest forces we employ Force Probe Molecular Dynamics simulations. Spider silk is a flexible and tough material and interestingly it has been shown that the flow is relevant in silk formation. However, the detailed mechanism of flow in the assembly of silk proteins is still unraveled. To investigate the role of the flow in the fiber formation and how it affects the mechanical properties of spider silk we perform Molecular Dynamics simulations under flow conditions in the nano-scale.A better understanding of collagen and silk behavior on the molecular level will give the possibility to design synthetic materials.

Impressum, Conny Wendler