Processing of collagen gels to create in vitro cell growth matrix without damage to the collagen native structure

2009-05-22T13:46:26Z (GMT) by Yang Liu David Williams
This preliminary work explores a technique for processing collagen gels to provide a structured matrix support for cell growth and other tissue engineering applications without using cyto-toxic photo-initiators. Collagen gels can be structured by techniques similar to those of rapid manufacturing and retain the fibril structure of native collagen. Incorporation of alpha-modified minimal essential medium (MEM) in the collagen solution improved the rate of gelation in a cell-friendly way. Local gelation of a collagen solution formulated with alpha-modified MEM can be achieved by exposure to radiation from a remote incandescent lamp source indicating that it may be possible to prepare structured gels by lithographically based rapid manufacturing processes. Exposure of the alpha-modified MEM collagen solution to the radiation also increased the thickness of the collagen fibrils formed during the gelation process to create a more structured gel. Methyl blue staining, scanning electron microscope (SEM), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) experiments confirmed the collagen was not denatured, i.e. the native structure of collagen was retained.