Adhesive behavior and detachment mechanisms of bacterial amyloid nanofibers

Ao Wang, Sinan Keten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Amyloid nanofibers, such as curli nanofibers, have proven capable of adhering strongly to abiotic surfaces. However, the adhesive performance of individual nanofibers and the dependence of this performance on physical properties remain to be characterized. We carried out coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations to determine the detachment mechanisms of single amyloid fibers from surfaces. Taking a generic model inspired from the curli nanofiber subunit CsgA, we discover that the amyloid nanofibers can undergo three different peeling processes when pulled at a constant rate normal to the surface. Computational phase diagrams built from parametric studies indicate that strong nanofibers with high cohesive energy detach by peeling smoothly away from the substrate while weak fibers break prematurely. At intermediate ratios, hinge formation occurs and the work of peeling the nanofiber is twice the adhesive energy due to the additional energy required to bend the nanofiber during desorption. Varying the geometry of amyloid subunits revealed that the work of peeling decreases for thicker nanofibers, suggesting that the tape-like monomeric structure of amyloids may facilitate better adhesive performance. Our results demonstrate how the dimensions and adhesive and cohesive properties of the amyloid nanofibers can be optimized to resist mechanical peeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number29
Journalnpj Computational Materials
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Fingerprint

Nanofibers
Adhesives
Amyloid
Peeling
Energy
Fiber
Fibers
Desorption
Hinges
Rate Constant
Physical property
Resist
Tapes
Molecular Dynamics Simulation
Phase Diagram
Phase diagrams
Molecular dynamics
Physical properties
Substrate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Computer Science Applications

Cite this

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Adhesive behavior and detachment mechanisms of bacterial amyloid nanofibers. / Wang, Ao; Keten, Sinan.

In: npj Computational Materials, Vol. 5, No. 1, 29, 01.12.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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