K.R.PORTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY K.R.PORTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scanning electron micrograph of tightly grouped bundles of collagen fibres which, along with reticular & elastic fibres, makes up human connective tissue. Collagen constitutes about one-third of the protein in the human body. It can be identified (as here) by its banding pattern seen under an electron microscope. The fibres are comprised of 3 long polypeptide chains which assemble spontaneously into a cablelike fibril, by coiling around each other to form a triple helix. The chains are interlinked by hydrogen bonds, making the whole structure tough and inextensible. Magnification: X 9000 at 35mm size, X 54,000 at 10x8 inch size.
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