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Chirality and helicity of poly-benzyl-L-glutamate in liquid crystals and a wave structure that mimics collagen helicity in crimp

By Vidal Benedicto de Campos and Mello Maria Luiza Silveira

Abstract

Ideal biocompatible polymers must show a mimetic superstructure with biological supra-organization. Collagen-rich structures like tendons and ligaments are materials with various levels of order, from molecules to bundles of fibers, which affect their biomechanical properties and cellular interactions. Poly-benzyl-L-glutamate (PBLG) displaying helicity was used here to test the development of wave-like structures as those occurring in collagen fibers. Birefringence of PBLG under various crystallization conditions was studied with a lambda/4 compensator according to Sénarmont. Qualitative observations were plainly sufficient to conclude that the PBLG fibrils were supra-organized helically as a chiral object. During crystallization stretched PBLG formed a helical superstructure with characteristic striation resembling waves (crimp). Supported by optical anisotropy findings, a twisted grain boundary liquid crystal type is proposed as a transition phase in the formation of the PBLG chiral object. A similarity with the wavy organization (crimp) of collagen bundles is proposed

Topics: poly-benzyl-L-glutamate, wave-like superstructure, liquid crystal, optical anisotropy, Materials of engineering and construction. Mechanics of materials, TA401-492, Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering, TK1-9971, Technology, T, DOAJ:Materials, DOAJ:Technology and Engineering
Publisher: Associação Brasileira de Metalurgia e Materiais (ABM); Associação Brasileira de Cerâmica (ABC); Associação Brasileira de Polímeros (ABPol)
Year: 2001
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:136cac8c64d54bc291ac6121786e81fd
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