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Proceedings Paper

A photochemical crosslinking technology for tissue engineering: enhancement of the physico-chemical properties of collagen-based scaffolds
Author(s): Barbara P. Chan
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Paper Abstract

Collagen gel is a natural biomaterial commonly used in tissue engineering because of its close resemblance to nature, negligible immunogenecity and excellent biocompatibility. However, unprocessed collagen gel is mechanically weak, highly water binding and vulnerable to chemical and enzymatic attacks that limits its use in tissue engineering in particular tissues for weight-bearing purposes. The current project aimed to strengthen and stabilize collagen scaffolds using a photochemical crosslinking technique. Photochemical crosslinking is rapid, efficient, non-thermal and does not involve toxic chemicals, comparing with other crosslinking methods such as glutaraldehyde and gamma irradiation. Collagen scaffolds were fabricated using rat-tail tendon collagen. An argon laser was used to process the collagen gel after equilibrating with a photosensitizing reagent. Scanning electronic microscope was used to characterize the surface and cross-sectional morphology of the membranes. Physico-chemical properties of the collagen scaffolds such as water-binding capacity, mechanical properties and thermostability were studied. Photochemical crosslinking significantly reduced the water-binding capacity, a parameter inversely proportional to the extent of crosslinking, of collagen scaffolds. Photochemical crosslinking also significantly increased the ultimate stress and tangent modulus at 90% of the rupture strain of the collagen scaffolds. Differential scanning calorimetry analysis showed a significantly higher shrinkage temperature and absence of the denaturation peak during the thermoscan comparing with the controls. This means greater thermostability in the photochemically crosslinked collagen scaffolds. This study demonstrates that the photochemical crosslinking technology is able to enhance the physicochemical propterties of collagen scaffolds by strengthening, stabilizing and controlling the swelling ratio of the collagen scaffolds so as to enable their use for tissue engineering.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 April 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5695, Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XVI, (15 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.597159
Show Author Affiliations
Barbara P. Chan, Univ. of Hong Kong (Hong Kong China)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5695:
Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XVI
Steven L. Jacques; William P. Roach, Editor(s)

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