Noting the abundance and importance of collagen as a biomaterial, we have developed a facile method for the production of a dense fibrillar extracellular matrix mimicking collagen-elastin hybrids with tunable mechanical properties. Through the use of excimer-laser technology, we have optimized conditions for the ablation of collagen lamellae without denaturation of protein, maintenance of fibrillar ultrastructure and preservation of native D-periodicity. Strengths of collagen-elastin hybrids ranged from 0.6 to 13 MPa, elongation at break from 9 to 70% and stiffness from 2.9 to 94 MPa, allowing for the design of a wide variety of tissue specific scaffolds. Further, large (centimeter scale) lamellae can be fabricated and embedded with recombinant elastin to generate collagen-elastin hybrids. Exposed collagen in hybrids act as cell adhesive sites for rat mesenchymal stem cells that conform to ablate waveforms. The ability to modulate these features allows for the generation of a class of biopolymers that can architecturally and physiologically replicate native tissue.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- excimer laser
- mesenchymal stem cells
- tissue engineering