Journal Article Hierarchical viscosity of aqueous solution of tilapia scale collagen investigated via dielectric spectroscopy between 500 MHz and 2.5 THz

Kawamata, Hiroshi  ,  Kuwaki, S.  ,  Mishina, T.  ,  Ikoma, T.  ,  Tanaka, J.  ,  Nozaki, R.

7p.45398 , 2017-03-27 , Nature Publishing Group
Aqueous solutions of biomolecules such as proteins are very important model systems for understanding the functions of biomolecules in actual life processes because interactions between biomolecules and the surrounding water molecules are considered to be important determinants of biomolecules' functions. Globule proteins have been extensively studied via dielectric spectroscopy; the results indicate three relaxation processes originating from fluctuations in the protein molecule, the bound water and the bulk water. However, the characteristics of aqueous solutions of collagens have rarely been investigated. In this work, based on broadband dielectric measurements between 500 MHz and 2.5 THz, we demonstrate that the high viscosity of a collagen aqueous solution is due to the network structure being constructed of rod-like collagen molecules surrounding free water molecules and that the water molecules are not responsible for the viscosity. We determine that the macroscopic viscosity is related to the mean lifetime of the collagen-collagen interactions supporting the networks and that the local viscosity of the water surrounded by the networks is governed by the viscosity of free water as in the bulk. This hierarchical structure in the dynamics of the aqueous solution of biomolecules has been revealed for the first time.

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