The evolution of vertebrates was accompanied by the development of flexible and elongated tissues. This is evident, for example, from the pronounced structural changes in the walls of blood vessels that were required for conversion from an open to a closed circulatory system. The properties of elasticity and elongation were made possible primarily by the emergence of elastic fibers, which are very abundant in larger blood vessels. The fibers store the potential energy required to maintain blood flow during diastole. In this way, proper cardiovascular function is enabled. Elastic fibers are also found in many other organs that must be reversibly deformable for physiological function. These include the lungs, skin, elastic cartilage or ligaments. Elastic fibers are found in the extracellular matrix (ECM) and consist of an outer sheath of fibrillin-rich microfibrils and a dense core of elastin, which accounts for over 90% of the total volume.

Elastin characteristics 

Elastic fiber (schematic) consisting of a core and elastin and a sheath of microfibrils.

Expertise in Elastin

extracted Elastin © Fraunhofer IMWS / Michael Deutsch



Soluble elastin hydrolysate for a wide range of applications in research and development

Publications on elastin from our team:

  • Schmelzer CEH, Duca L. Elastic fibers: formation, function, and fate during aging and disease. FEBS J. 2022;289(13):3704-30.
  • Nicole Michler, Marco Götze, Tobias Kürbitz, Valentin Cepus, Christian E. H. Schmelzer, Georg Hillrichs and Andreas Heilmann "Laser Structuring of Polyamide Nanofiber Nonwoven Surfaces and their Influence on Cell Adhesion", Macromolecular Materials and Engineering (2022)
  • P. Engl, T. Hedtke, M. Götze, J. Martins de Souza e Silva, G. Hillrichs, C.E.H. Schmelzer " Laser microstructuring of elastin-gelatin-based biomedical materials"  Procedia CIRP 111 (2022) 638–642
  • Schmelzer CEH, Hedtke T, Heinz A. Unique molecular networks: Formation and role of elastin cross-links. IUBMB Life. 2020;72(5):842-54.
  • Schmelzer CEH, Heinz A, Troilo H, Lockhart-Cairns MP, Jowitt TA, Marchand MF, Bidault L, Bignon M, Hedtke T, Barret A, McConnell JC, Sherratt MJ, Germain S, Hulmes DJS, Baldock C, Muller L. Lysyl oxidase-like 2 (LOXL2)-mediated cross-linking of tropoelastin. FASEB J. 2019;33(4):5468-81.
  • Hedtke T, Schräder CU, Heinz A, Hoehenwarter W, Brinckmann J, Groth T, Schmelzer CEH. A comprehensive map of human elastin cross-linking during elastogenesis. FEBS J. 2019;286(18):3594-610.
  • M. Götze, T. Kürbitz, O. Krimig, C.E.H. Schmelzer, A. Heilmann, G. Hillrichs Investigation of Laser Processing of Biodegradable Nanofiber Nonwovens with Different Laser Pulse Durations Journal of Laser Micro/Nanoengineering JLMN Vol. 14, No.1, 2019
  • Marco Götze, Tobias Kürbitz, Christian E. H. Schmelzer, Andreas Heilmann, Georg Hillrichs, "Three dimensional scaffolds made of electrospun polymers", Proc. of LAMP 2019, 2019
  • M. Götze, A. Mannan Farhan, T. Kürbitz, O. Krimig, S. Henning, A. Heilmann, G. Hillrichs Laser Processing of Dry, Wet and Immersed Polyamide Nanofiber Nonwovens with Different Laser Sources Journal of Laser Micro/Nanoengineering JLMN Vol. 12, No. 3, 2017
  • Schmelzer CEH, Nagel MB, Dziomba S, Merkher Y, Sivan SS, Heinz A. Prolyl hydroxylation in elastin is not random. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016;1860(10):2169-77.1.