Spatial Organization of Collagen Fibrils in Skeletal Tissues: Analogies with Liquid Crystals

  • Yves Bouligand
  • Marie-Madeleine Giraud-Guille
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 93)


This contribution is a brief review of works dealing with extracellular matrices which are analogues of liquid crystals. These biological materials show a supramolecular organization very close to that of cholesteric liquid crystals. The name “cholesteric” comes from the fact that these particular liquid crystals were discovered in several cholesterol esters. However, many examples of this state of matter are known today in concentrated solutions of nucleic acids, polypeptides, polysaccharides and other biological polymers. We think that studies of such liquid crystalline analogues in biological materials will lead to a greater understanding of the origin of certain remarkable distributions of microfibrils.


Liquid Crystal Compact Bone Cholesteric Liquid Crystal Oblique Section High Voltage Electron Microscopy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yves Bouligand
    • 1
  • Marie-Madeleine Giraud-Guille
    • 1
  1. 1.E.P.H.E. & C.N.R.S.Ivry-sur-SeineF.

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