A mechanics-based model is presented which predicts a “neutral annulus” for quasi-crystalline self-assembling nanostructure such as collagen fibrils, wherein transcript length, torsional and axial stiffness along with primary and quaternary protein structure limit the size to which these structures may aggregate. In the present treatment, a neutral annulus is predicted at 0.625 of the fibril radius, wherein portions of the fibril interior to the neutral annulus are in compression, balanced by portions exterior to the neutral annulus which are in tension.

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