Morphology

The basic morphological component of elastin is filament made up of a linear sequence of globular structures with a probable maximum diameter of 9-10 nm. Dehydrated elastin may be 4-6 nm in diameter (2). The freeze-etching technique reveals elastin's structure as a regular, three-dimensional network of filaments. The filaments cross their neighbors every 8-12 globular subunits, giving rise to a network with a large, less-dense central core (3). The filaments of elastin can be disordered and swollen when immersed in 25% glycerol for 8-10 days. The swollen elastin shows a much higher affinity for stains.

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