Researchers discover why tendons are strong as wire ropes
Under the electron microscope: collagen fiber bundle after mineralization with (the bone mineral) calcium phosphate. © Max-Planck-Institut für Kolloid- und Grenzflächenforschung
A team at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPICI) has discovered with help of BESSY II new properties of collagen: During the intercalation of minerals in collagen fibers, a contraction tension is generated that is hundreds of times stronger than muscle strength. The associated changes in the collagen structure were observed using X-ray diffraction at the BESSY II synchrotron in Berlin-Adlershof while mineralization was taking place.
"This universal mechanism of mineralization of organic fiber tissues could be transferred to technical hybrid materials, for example, to achieve high breaking strength there," says Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. Peter Fratzl, Director at the institute.
The fiber-forming structural protein collagen is found in tendons, skin and bones, among other places. It is also interesting from a medical or biological point of view to understand what happens in the process of mineralization in bones. Many bone diseases are associated with changes in mineral content in bones and thus altered properties.
Read the full press release on the MPIKG website.
Spintronics at BESSY II: Domain walls in magnetic nanowires
Magnetic domains walls are known to be a source of electrical resistance due to the difficulty for transport electron spins to follow their magnetic texture. This phenomenon holds potential for utilization in spintronic devices, where the electrical resistance can vary based on the presence or absence of a domain wall. A particularly intriguing class of materials are half metals such as La2/3Sr1/3MnO3 (LSMO) which present full spin polarization, allowing their exploitation in spintronic devices. Still the resistance of a single domain wall in half metals remained unknown. Now a team from Spain, France and Germany has generated a single domain wall on a LSMO nanowire and measured resistance changes 20 times larger than for a normal ferromagnet such as Cobalt.
Graphene on titanium carbide triggers a novel phase transition
Researchers have discovered a Lifshitz-transition in TiC, driven by a graphene overlayer, at the photon source BESSY II. Their study sheds light on the exciting potential of 2D materials such as graphene and the effects they can have on neighboring materials through proximity interactions.
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Grant for Dr. Jie Wei
In April, Dr. Jie Wei started his research work in the Helmholtz Young Investigator Group Nanoscale Operando CO2 Photo-Electrocatalysis at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) of the Max Planck Society. Wei received one of the highly competitive Humboldt postdoctoral research fellowships and will pursue his two-year project under the guidance of the academic hosts Dr. Christopher Kley and Prof. Dr. Beatriz Roldan Cuenya.