University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


Bone at the nanoscale consists of type I collagen and hydroxyapatite (HAP). Type I collagen and HAP [Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2] are responsible for most of the structural integrity of bone. Collagen fibrils contain HAP platelets of varying size dispersed between the collagen. We investigate heterotrimeric collagen interaction with HAP using Steering Molecular Dynamics to obtain the force-displacement relation as the collagen is undergoing shearing and peeling on the surface of HAP. Results indicate that the collagen requires 40% less force to separate form the HAP surface under peeling, when compared to shear loading conditions. In both shearing and peeling, the number of collagen-water hydrogen bonds increases by approximately 100% before rupture. We developed an HAP inspired structure and 3D printed it using ABS plastic. This bio-inspired material could have several potential applications in engineering and medicine.