Title: Marine Hydroid Perisarc: A chitin- and melanin-reinforced composite with DOPA-iron (III) complexes
Authors: Dong Soo Hwang, Admir Masic, Ekavianty Prajatelistia, Mihaela Iordachescu, J. Herbert Waite
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia (IF = 5.09)
Abstract: Many marine invertebrates utilize biomacromolecules as building blocks to form their load-bearing tissues. These polymeric tissues are appealing for their unusual physical and mechanical properties, including high hardness and stiffness, toughness, and low density. Here, a marine hydroid perisarc of Aglaophenia latirostris was investigated to understand how nature designs a stiff, tough and lightweight sheathing structure. Chitin, protein, and a melanin-like pigment, were found to represent 10, 17 and 60 wt% of the perisarc, respectively. Interestingly, similar to the adhesive and coating of marine mussel byssus, a DOPA (3, 4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) containing protein and iron were detected in the perisarc. Resonance Raman microprobe analysis of perisarc indicates the presence of catechol-iron (III) complexes in situ, but it remains to be determined whether the DOPA-iron (III) interaction plays a cohesive role in holding the protein, chitin and melanin networks together.