publication . Article . 2015

Keratin: Structure, mechanical properties, occurrence in biological organisms, and efforts at bioinspiration

Bin Wang; Wen Yang; Joanna McKittrick; Marc A. Meyers;
Open Access English
  • Published: 05 Jul 2015
  • Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
  • Country: United States
Abstract
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. A ubiquitous biological material, keratin represents a group of insoluble, usually high-sulfur content and filament-forming proteins, constituting the bulk of epidermal appendages such as hair, nails, claws, turtle scutes, horns, whale baleen, beaks, and feathers. These keratinous materials are formed by cells filled with keratin and are considered 'dead tissues'. Nevertheless, they are among the toughest biological materials, serving as a wide variety of interesting functions, e.g. scales to armor body, horns to combat aggressors, hagfish slime as defense against predators, nails and claws to increase prehension, hair and fur to protect aga...
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Subjects
Medical Subject Headings: integumentary systemmacromolecular substances
free text keywords: General Materials Science, Lamellar structure, Composite material, Materials science, Keratin, chemistry.chemical_classification, chemistry, Deformation (engineering), Protein filament, Biomimetics, Stratum corneum, medicine.anatomical_structure, medicine, Ultimate tensile strength, Armour
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