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Int J Artif Organs. 2002 Jan;25(1):67-73.

Magnification of the pore size in biodegradable collagen sponges.

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  • 1Helmholtz-Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Aachen University of Technology, Germany.


In tissue engineering cells are often combined with a carrying structure with collagen being a suitable material to form a 3D-scaffold. A process to manufacture collagen sponges with an adjustable and homogeneous structure has been developed at the Helmholtz-Institute. Using this process, collagen suspensions are frozen directionally and subsequently vacuum-dried. One clinical application in which these scaffolds can be used is soft tissue reconstruction. Various soft tissue defects require an adequate replacement, e.g. in the case of severe burn wounds, or after tumour resections. Collagen (type I) sponges, which are cultured with preadipocytes, may be used to regenerate such defects. In this case, pore sizes of approximately 100 microm are desired to allow a complete differentiation of preadipocytes into adipocytes. Based on known technology to manufacture collagen sponges with an adjustable and homogeneous pore structure, research on the increase of pore size beyond the previous limit of 40 microm was necessary in order to enable soft tissue replacement. A scaffold with an average pore size of 100 microm was obtained.

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