High density collagen fibril constructs with tunable mechano-biology in acellular and cellular configurations
Collagen has long been used as a material for tissue engineering due to its prevalence in the extracellular matrix of connective tissues. However, traditional collagen materials utilizing atelocollagen and acid solubilized telocollagen have lacked the mechanical integrity and collagen fibril density found in the in vivo state. Here, we utilize collagen oligomers and confined compression to forcibly remove a portion of the fluid phase component. Materials were created with controlled, substantially increased material properties, including order of magnitude increases in collagen fibril density, elastic modulus, compressive modulus,and resistance to proteolytic degradation. The technique was found to be amenable to cell encapslation, allowing the creation of viable cellularized high density constructs. The translational aspects of these high density collagen materials was examined through the ultrastructure and bulk property changes that may be present through lyophilization and rehydration, as well as comparison against a gold standard market crosslinked microfibrillar collagen sponge.
Voytik-Harbin, Purdue University.
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