And how! Depicted here are intricate collagen fibers, the structural glue and the most abundant protein in the mammalian body. Collagen proteins occupy the extracellular space in connective tissues, and form fibers that provide the physical scaffold for holding and strengthening several tissues in the body including bones, ligaments, tendons, skin, and the cornea. With several different classes of this protein defined to date, type I is the major type present in the human body. At the molecular level, collagen exists as a triple-helical structure and strong covalent bond formations between two interacting collagen molecules give the fibers its immense tensile strength. A gram of type I collagen is considered to be stronger than a gram of steel! Yes! Aging is the primary reason for the deterioration of the body’s natural collagen over time. And finally, if you’ve ever used gelatin in your culinary adventures, that’s basically cooked collagen!
Artist: Don Pottle. Author: Manav Gupta.