Author(s): Cen L, Liu W, Cui L, Zhang W, Cao Y
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Abstract Scientific investigations involving collagen have inspired tissue engineering and design of biomaterials since collagen fibrils and their networks primarily regulate and define most tissues. The collagen networks form a highly organized, three-dimensional architecture to entrap other ingredients. Biomaterials are expected to function as cell scaffolds to replace native collagen-based extracellular matrix. The composition and properties of biomaterials used as scaffold for tissue engineering significantly affect the regeneration of neo-tissues and influence the conditions of collagen engineering. The complex scenario of collagen characteristics, types, fibril arrangement, and collagen structure-related functions (in a variety of connective tissues including bone, cartilage, tendon, skin and cornea) are addressed in this review. Discussion will focus on nanofibrillar assemblies and artificial synthetic peptides that mimic either the fibrillar structure or the elemental components of type I collagen as illustrated by their preliminary applications in tissue engineering. Conventional biomaterials used as scaffolds in engineering collagen-containing tissues are also discussed. The design of novel biomaterials and application of conventional biomaterials will facilitate development of additional novel tissue engineering bioproducts by refining the currently available techniques. The field of tissue engineering will ultimately be advanced by increasing control of collagen in native tissue and by continual manipulation of biomaterials.
This article was published in Pediatr Res
and referenced in Journal of Bioengineering & Biomedical Science