Electric field-assisted assembly of type-I collagen for applications in biomedical micro-systems

Tiffany E. Miller, Eniko T. Enikov

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In the field of nanotechnology and applied engineering, an area that has received a great deal of attention is that of nanoassembly. The objective of this study was to demonstrate nanoassembly of type-I collagen on specified surfaces in response to an electric field. Two, otherwise identical, collagen solutions were prepared and adjusted to pHs of 5.5 and 8. The isoelectric fosusing point of collagen occurs at pH=6.7 which implies that the suspended collagen fibers in the aforementioned solutions possessed a net positive or negative charge, respectively. In each collagen solution, one volt was applied through a set of submerged electrodes for one minute. Atomic force microscopy was used to detect if and where assembly had occurred on the electrodes. The positively charged fibrils (pH=5.5) assembled on the negative electrode, but not on the positive electrode. The negatively charged fibrils (pH=8) assembled only on the positive electrode, but not on the negative electrode. In both cases, assembly occurred on the electrode of opposite charge of the suspended collagen fibrils, which was anticipated. The assembly of the positively charged fibrils (pH=5.5) on the cathode produced larger fibers than the fibers that were produced by the negatively charged fibrils (pH=8) on the anode. This indicated the more favorable environment for nanoassembly was the positively charged fibril solution (pH=5.5).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-68
Number of pages4
JournalAdvances in Bioengineering, BED
StatePublished - 2005
Event2005 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2005 - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Nov 5 2005Nov 11 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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