Force Spectroscopy of Hyaluronan by AFM; From H-bonded Networks Towards Single Chain Behavior

M.I. Giannotti, Marguerite Rinaudo, Gyula J. Vancso

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The conformational behavior of hyaluronan (HA) polysaccharide chains in aqueous NaCl solution was characterized directly at the single-molecule level. This comunication reports on one of the first single-chain atomic force microscopy (AFM) experiments performed at variable temperatures, investigating the influence of the temperature on the stability of the HA single-chain conformation. Through AFM single-molecule force spectroscopy, the temperature destabilization of a local structure was proven. This structure involved a hydrogen-bonded network along the polymeric chain, with hydrogen bonds between the polar groups of HA and possibly water, and a change from a nonrandom coil to a random coil behavior was observed when increasing the temperature from 29 ± 1 to 46 ± 1 °C. As a result of the applied force, this superstructure was found to break progressively at room temperature. The use of a hydrogen-bonding breaker solvent demonstrated the hydrogen-bonded water-bridged nature of the network structure of HA single chains in aqueous NaCl solution.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)2648-2652
Number of pages5
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • METIS-243274
  • IR-74702

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