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Biomaterials. 2004 Jun;25(14):2831-41.

Influence of different collagen species on physico-chemical properties of crosslinked collagen matrices.

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  • 1Department of Trauma Surgery, University Hospital Regensburg, Franz-Josef-Strauss-Allee 11, Regensburg 93051, Germany. angelepeter@aol.com


Collagen-based scaffolds are appealing products for the repair of cartilage defects using tissue engineering strategies. The present study investigated the species-related differences of collagen scaffolds with and without 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethyl aminopropyl) carbodiimide (EDC)/N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS)-crosslinking. Resistance against collagenase digestion, swelling ratio, amino acid sequence, shrinkage temperature, ultrastructural matrix morphology, crosslinking density and stress-strain characteristics were determined to evaluate the physico-chemical properties of equine- and bovine-collagen-based scaffolds. Three-factor ANOVA analysis revealed a highly significant effect of collagen type (p=0.0001), crosslinking (p=0.0001) and time (p=0.0001) on degradation of the collagen samples by collagenase treatment. Crosslinked equine collagen samples showed a significantly reduced swelling ratio compared to bovine collagen samples (p< 0.0001). The amino acid composition of equine collagen revealed a higher amount of hydroxylysine and lysine. Shrinkage temperatures of non-crosslinked samples showed a significant difference between equine (60 degrees C) and bovine collagen (57 degrees C). Three-factor ANOVA analysis revealed a highly significant effect of collagen type (p=0.0001), crosslinking (p=0.0001) and matrix condition (p=0.0001) on rupture strength measured by stress-strain analysis. The ultrastructure, the crosslinking density and the strain at rupture between collagen matrices of both species showed no significant differences. For tissue engineering purposes, the higher enzymatic stability, the higher form stability, as well as the lower risk of transmissible disease make the case for considering equine-based collagen. This study also indicates that results obtained for scaffolds based on a certain collagen species may not be transferable to scaffolds based on another, because of the differing physico-chemical properties.

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