Tropoelastin — A multifaceted naturally smart material☆

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Abstract

Tropoelastin dominates the physical performance of human elastic tissue as it is assembled to make elastin. Tropoelastin is increasingly appreciated as a protein monomer with a defined solution shape comprising modular, bridged regions that specialize in elasticity and cell attachment, which collectively participate in macromolecular assembly. This modular, multifaceted molecule is being exploited to enhance the physical performance and biological presentation of engineered constructs to augment and repair human tissues. These tissues include skin and vasculature, and emphasize how growing knowledge of tropoelastin can be powerfully adapted to add value to pre-existing devices like stents and novel, multi-featured biological implants.

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