News Column

New Data from Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology Illuminate Findings in General Science (Ferroelectric switching of elastin)

August 15, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Science Letter -- Fresh data on Science are presented in a new report. According to news reporting out of Shenzhen, People's Republic of China, by NewsRx editors, research stated, "Ferroelectricity has long been speculated to have important biological functions, although its very existence in biology has never been firmly established. Here, we present compelling evidence that elastin, the key ECM protein found in connective tissues, is ferroelectric, and we elucidate the molecular mechanism of its switching."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, "Nanoscale piezoresponse force microscopy and macroscopic pyroelectric measurements both show that elastin retains ferroelectricity at 473 K, with polarization on the order of 1 mu C/cm(2), whereas coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations predict similar polarization with a Curie temperature of 580 K, which is higher than most synthetic molecular ferroelectrics. The polarization of elastin is found to be intrinsic in tropoelastin at the monomer level, analogous to the unit cell level polarization in classical perovskite ferroelectrics, and it switches via thermally activated cooperative rotation of dipoles. Our study sheds light onto a long-standing question on ferroelectric switching in biology and establishes ferroelectricity as an important biophysical property of proteins."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "This is a critical first step toward resolving its physiological significance and pathological implications."

For more information on this research see: Ferroelectric switching of elastin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2014;111(27):E2780-E2786. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America can be contacted at: Natl Acad Sciences, 2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20418, USA. (National Academy of Sciences -; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting Y.M. Liu, Chinese Academy Sci, Shenzhen Inst Adv Technol, Paul C Lauterbur Res Center Biomed Imaging, Shenzhen 518055, People's Republic of China. Additional authors for this research include H.L. Cai, M. Zelisko, Y.J. Wang, J.L. Sun, F. Yan, F.Y. Ma, P.Q. Wang, Q.N. Chen, H.R. Zheng, X.J. Meng, P. Sharma, Y.H. Zhang and J.Y. Li (see also Science).

Keywords for this news article include: Asia, Science, Shenzhen, People's Republic of China

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: Science Letter

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters