The Molecular Conformation of Elastin as Derived from Mechanical Investigations
Since Hoeve and Flory (1,2) corrected the earlier work of Meyer and Ferri and Wölisch et al. it has been deduced by all later workers (apart from Weis-Fogh and Anderson) (3) that the mechanism of mechanical deformation in elastin is essentially entropy elastic. [If the force f is written f = fe + fs (the sum of the energy and entropy components fe and fs) then this implies fe/f << 1.] The purpose of this paper is to examine critically the methods used in making this deduction. This will lead to a discussion of the reliability of mechanical experiments in understanding the nature of the molecular conformation of elastin in vivo.
KeywordsMechanical Experiment Molecular Conformation Rubber Elasticity Extension Ratio Entropy Component
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