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Issue 30, 2013
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Photo-active collagen systems with controlled triple helix architecture

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The design of photo-active collagen systems is presented as a basis for establishing biomimetic materials with varied network architecture and programmable macroscopic properties. Following in-house isolation of type I collagen, reaction with vinyl-bearing compounds of varied backbone rigidity, i.e. 4-vinylbenzyl chloride (4VBC) and glycidyl methacrylate (GMA), was carried out. TNBS colorimetric assay, 1H-NMR and ATR-FTIR confirmed covalent and tunable functionalization of collagen lysines. Depending on the type and extent of functionalization, controlled stability and thermal denaturation of triple helices were observed via circular dichroism (CD), whereby the hydrogen-bonding capability of introduced moieties was shown to play a major role. Full gel formation was observed following photo-activation of functionalized collagen solutions. The presence of a covalent network only slightly affected collagen triple helix conformation (as observed by WAXS and ATR-FTIR), confirming the structural organization of functionalized collagen precursors. Photo-activated hydrogels demonstrated an increased denaturation temperature (DSC) with respect to native collagen, suggesting that the formation of the covalent network successfully stabilized collagen triple helices. Moreover, biocompatibility and mechanical competence of obtained hydrogels were successfully demonstrated under physiologically-relevant conditions. These results demonstrate that this novel synthetic approach enabled the formation of biocompatible collagen systems with defined network architecture and programmable macroscopic properties, which can only partially be obtained with current synthetic methods.

Graphical abstract: Photo-active collagen systems with controlled triple helix architecture

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 May 2013, accepted on 17 Jun 2013 and first published on 17 Jun 2013

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3TB20720J
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. B, 2013,1, 3705-3715
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    Photo-active collagen systems with controlled triple helix architecture

    G. Tronci, S. J. Russell and D. J. Wood, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2013, 1, 3705
    DOI: 10.1039/C3TB20720J

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