Study sheds more light into secret strength of marine mussels
By ANI | Published: December 1, 2023 11:19 PM2023-12-01T23:19:23+5:302023-12-01T23:20:07+5:30
Washington DC [US], December 1 : How can one establish robust, yet fast-releasing bonds between living and non-living tissues? ...
Washington DC [US], December 1 : How can one establish robust, yet fast-releasing bonds between living and non-living tissues? Bioengineers who want to develop materials that fuse together for sophisticated biological applications are still perplexed by this subject.
The McGill-led study focused on the marine mussel byssus, a fibrous holdfast that these bivalve mollusks employ to anchor themselves in seaside settings, drawing inspiration from nature. The byssus stem root is securely attached inside the soft living tissue of the mussel, while the other end of the byssus clings to rocky surfaces via an underwater adhesive. Professor Matthew Harrington of Chemistry at McGill University conducted a study on this biointerfacethe area of interaction between living tissue and the non-living byssus stem root.
"Up to this point, it was baffling how the byssus stem root biointerface could be strong enough to resist constant crashing waves but also be suddenly released by the mussel upon demand," said Harrington. "It seemed as if the mussel could somehow control its strength."
Following a cross-disciplinary investigation, the team found that the stem root separates into approximately 40-50 sheets known as lamellae that interlock with the living tissue, creating an incredibly strong interface much like interleaving two phone books together.
"The biggest surprise is how this strength can be lowered through the beating movements of billions of tiny hair-like cilia on the surface of the living tissue. Cilia movement is under the control of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, enabling the quick release of the whole stem root on demand." says Harrington who holds the Canada Research Chair in Green Chemistry
This finding is particularly relevant for biomedical engineers and materials scientists as they look towards the future of bio-implants, wearable sensors, brain-computer interface design, and more.
"The stem root biointerface is unlike anything seen in human-made materials and could offer important inspiration for the next generation of biointerfaces," said Harrington. "Since further medical advances will depend on novel biointe.
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