Mussel adhesive protein provides cohesive matrix for collagen type-1α

Nadine R. Martinez Rodriguez, Saurabh Das, Yair Kaufman, Wei Wei, Jacob N. Israelachvili, J. Herbert Waite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Understanding the interactions between collagen and adhesive mussel foot proteins (mfps) can lead to improved medical and dental adhesives, particularly for collagen-rich tissues. Here we investigated interactions between collagen type-1, the most abundant load-bearing animal protein, and mussel foot protein-3 (mfp-3) using a quartz crystal microbalance and surface forces apparatus (SFA). Both hydrophilic and hydrophobic variants of mfp-3 were exploited to probe the nature of the interaction between the protein and collagen. Our chief findings are: 1) mfp-3 is an effective chaperone for tropocollagen adsorption to TiO2 and mica surfaces; 2) at pH 3, collagen addition between two mfp-3 films (Wc=5.4±0.2mJ/m2) increased their cohesion by nearly 35%; 3) oxidation of Dopa in mfp-3 by periodate did not abolish the adhesion between collagen and mfp-3 films, and 4) collagen bridging between both hydrophilic and hydrophobic mfp-3 variant films is equally robust, suggesting that hydrophobic interactions play a minor role. Extensive H-bonding, π-cation and electrostatic interactions are more plausible to explain the reversible bridging of mfp-3 films by collagen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-57
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Collagen type-1
  • Mfp-3
  • Mussel foot proteins
  • Mylitus californiaus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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