Single Unit of Function

The Physics of Organisms

The importance of collagen is in the continuity between a single living cell and the whole organism.

A part of the definition of health is that every cell in the moment is physiologically aware of every other cell. This is independent of the extracellular matrix or the limiting membranes of individual organs.

“All the cells in the body are in turn interconnected to one another via the connective tissues... include the extracellular matrix surrounding all cells, the skin, bones, cartilage, tendons, filaments, the wall of arteries, veins, alimentary canal, air passages, and various membranous layers covering the internal organs and tissues.

The connective tissues are also liquid crystalline... liquid crystals happen to be ideal for the rapid intercommunication required for the efficient and highly coordinated energy transductions that enable organisms to act a coherent whole.


  • coherence - united as or forming a whole
  • resonance - the quality in a sound of being deep, full, and reverberating
  • mesophase - any of the phases of a liquid crystal

Function of connective tissues

  1. Mechanical
  2. Intercommuncation

Collagen represents 70% of protein of connective tissues

The Biochemistry of Collagen

All share a repeating peptide sequence X-Y-Glycine where X and Y are usually proline or hydroxyproline.

Three polypeptide chains wound around each other to give a spiraling triple helix.

Compact glycine in the central axis of helix. Bulky proline and H-proline on outside.

Triple helical molecules aggregate lead to tail to form long fibrils. Bundles of fibrils aggregate to sheets and fibres.

Form by self assembly in the right ionic concentration, pH, temp and hydration.

Process driven by hydrophilic interaction due to hydrogen bonding between water molecules and charged amino acid side - chains.

Collagen and Conduction

Collagens have dielectric and electrical conductive properties that make them very sensitive to

  • mechanical pressures
  • pH and ionic composition
  • electromagnetic fields

The electrical properties depend on the bound water molecules in and around the collagen triple helix.

3 populations of water associated with collagens:

  1. Interstitial water bound very tightly within the triple helix
  2. Bound water the more loosely structured water cylinder on the surface of the triple helix
  3. Free water filling the spaces between fibres and fibrils.

An ordered network of water molecules connected by hydrogen bonds and interspersed within protein fibrillar matrix.

* This supports the rapid jump of protons

* Increase in conductivity of protons is at 310K - normal body temp.

A Highly Responsive Global Network

“The collagenous crystalline mesophases in the connective tissues, with their associated structured water, therefore, constitutes a semi-conducting highly responsive network that extends throughout the organism.”

This network is directly linked to the intracellular matrices of individual cells via proteins that go through the cell membrane.

The connective tissues and intracellular matrices, together, form a global tensegrity system, as well as an excitable electrical continuum for rapid inter-communication throughout the body.

Collagen alignment has long been recognised to be important in the structure of bone and cartilage.

Less well known Langer lines of skin which correspond to orientation of collagen fibres which are determined by stresses during development and growth.

*Zinc patterns