Dataset Information


Metals and the integrity of a biological coating: the cuticle of mussel byssus.

ABSTRACT: The cuticle of mussel byssal threads is a robust natural coating that combines high extensibility with high stiffness and hardness. In this study, fluorescence microscopy and elemental analysis were exploited to show that the 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-L-alanine (dopa) residues of mussel foot protein-1 colocalize with Fe and Ca distributions in the cuticle of Mytilus galloprovincialis mussel byssal threads. Chelated removal of Fe and Ca from the cuticle of intact threads resulted in a 50% reduction in cuticle hardness, and thin sections subjected to the same treatment showed a disruption of cuticle integrity. Dopa-metal complexes may provide significant interactions for the integrity of composite cuticles deformed under tension.

SUBMITTER: Holten-Andersen N 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2746015 | BioStudies | 2009-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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