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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs.

Strathprints serves world leading Open Access research by the University of Strathclyde, including research by the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS), where research centres such as the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), the Cancer Research UK Formulation Unit, SeaBioTech and the Centre for Biophotonics are based.

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Eumelanin kinetics and sheet structure

Sutter, J. U. and Bidlakova, T. and Karolin, J. and Birch, D. J. S. (2012) Eumelanin kinetics and sheet structure. Applied Physics Letters, 100 (11). ISSN 0003-6951

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Abstract

Melanins are common pigments with a non-repeating primary structure that is generally accepted to be composed of dihydroxyindoles. However, despite intensive research the secondary structure defining the minimum functional unit (protomolecule) remains elusive. We have revisited eumelanin formation in-situ during the non-enzymatic auto-oxidation of 3,4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine by using the fluorescence of thioflavin T; an extrinsic probe known to report on sheet structure. This approach obviates the complex intrinsic fluorescence and reveals a sigmoidal temporal dependence of assembly that is consistent with protomolecule formation and assembly into a stacked sheet structure rather than a randomized heteropolymer formed by monomer addition.