Bioadsorption Properties of Collagen Microfibrils onto Titanium Dioxide Surfaces
|Research Area||Materials science, biochemistry, surface chemistry, computational chemistry|
|Principal Investigator(s)||Dr. Susanna Monti|
A major challenge in the design and creation of functional surfaces is to developed efficient strategies using both existing synthetic technologies and novel fabrication methods to effectively adsorb and assemble on these substrates different molecular species such as peptides, structural proteins or complex synthetic molecules. In order to generate stable and effective artificial extracellular matrices it is of fundamental importance to understand the mechanisms which are responsible for the formation of these supramolecular structures, to evaluate to what extent the function and conformation of the adsorbed macromolecules are influenced by their interactions with the substrates, and to identify possible causes of linkage disruption, with the ultimate aim of suggesting and selecting appropriate synthetic routes. Our research area focuses on the adsorption of collagen microfibrils onto the surface of titanium-based materials, which are extensively used for manufacturing bone anchoring systems due to their advantageous bulk and surface properties, their biocompatibility and to the favorable interactions at the bone-titanium interface. The goal of this project is to improve and extend the models and the methodologies we have already defined, calibrated and tested to elucidate the binding mechanisms of short peptides to different TiO2 interfaces. We propose to use DEISA large scale supercomputing facilities to perform a molecular dynamics study of the adsorption of long collagen microfibrils containing terminal telopeptides, with dimensions compatible with experimental data, onto different types of TiO2 layers.