Modeling Protein-based Hydrogels under Force [article]

Kirill Shmilovich, Ionel Popa
2018 bioRxiv   pre-print
Hydrogels made from structured polyprotein domains combine the properties of cross-linked polymers with the unfolding phase transition. The use of protein hydrogels as an ensemble approach to study the physics of domain unfolding is limited by the lack of scaling tools and by the complexity of the system. Here we propose a model to describe the biomechanical response of protein hydrogels based on the unfolding and extension of protein domains under force. Our model takes into account the
more » ... account the contributions on the network dynamics of the molecules inside the gels, which have random cross-linking points and random topology. This model reproduces reported macroscopic visco-elastic effects and constitutes an important step toward using rheometry on protein hydrogels to scale down to the average mechanical response of protein molecules.
doi:10.1101/361592 fatcat:xzp73dwtrjhynfphsfgzyre3ye