|Maffia, Gennaro - WIDENER UNIVERSITY|
Submitted to: American Leather Chemists Association Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2005
Publication Date: June 20, 2005
Citation: Brown, E.M., Stauffer, D.M., Cooke, P.H., Maffia, G.J. 2005. The effect of ultrasound on bovine hide collagen structure [abstract]. American Leather Chemists Association. Paper No. 14. Technical Abstract: Uses of ultrasound in leather processing have been researched for more than 50 years. Although these studies showed that ultrasound could have beneficial effects on hide preparation, tanning and finishing processes, the costs associated with the development of a new technology outweighed the benefits. Ultrasound is now a mature science, used to improve the efficiency of processes for the manufacture of a variety of materials. It may well offer a path toward the use of fewer (less) chemicals in the production of quality leather. However, the effects of ultrasound on the structure and function of biomacromolecules, specifically protein complexes, have not been extensively studied. This research examines the chemical, physical and mechanical effects of ultrasonic treatment on bovine hide collagen. Scanning electron micrographs show that low frequency, high power ultrasound (20 kHz) appears to unravel the 50 - 100 nm fibrils, seen in ball-milled collagen, into smaller diameter fibrils. Although these smaller fibrils are more susceptible to attack by collagenase, the individual collagen molecules remain intact as demonstrated by SDS PAGE. Soluble and insoluble collagen, and hide powder are also being examined to develop a broader picture of potential effects of ultrasound in leather manufacturing.