An improved method for the preparation of type i collagen from skin

Christina A. Pacak, Allison A. MacKay, Douglas B. Cowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Soluble type 1 collagen (COL1) is used extensively as an adhesive substrate for cell cultures and as a cellular scaffold for regenerative applications. Clinically, this protein is widely used for cosmetic surgery, dermal injections, bone grafting, and reconstructive surgery. The sources of COL1 for these procedures are commonly nonhuman, which increases the potential for inflammation and rejection as well as xenobiotic disease transmission. In view of this, a method to efficiently and quickly purify COL1 from limited quantities of autologously-derived tissues would circumvent many of these issues; however, standard isolation protocols are lengthy and often require large quantities of collagenous tissues. Here, we demonstrate an efficient COL1 extraction method that reduces the time needed to isolate and purify this protein from about 10 days to less than 3 hr. We chose the dermis as our tissue source because of its availability during many surgical procedures. This method uses traditional extraction buffers combined with forceful agitation and centrifugal filtration to obtain highly-pure, soluble COL1 from small amounts of corium. Briefly, dermal biopsies are washed thoroughly in ice-cold dH2O after removing fat, connective tissue, and hair. The skin samples are stripped of noncollagenous proteins and polysaccharides using 0.5 M sodium acetate and a high speed bench-top homogenizer. Collagen from residual solids is subsequently extracted with a 0.075 M sodium citrate buffer using the homogenizer. These extracts are purified using 100,000 MW cut-off centrifugal filters that yield COL1 preparations of comparable or superior quality to commercial products or those obtained using traditional procedures. We anticipate this method will facilitate the utilization of autologously-derived COL1 for a multitude of research and clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere51011
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number83
StatePublished - Jan 21 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioengineering
  • Corium
  • Dermis
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Issue 83
  • Scaffold protein
  • Tissue engineering
  • Type 1 collagen


Dive into the research topics of 'An improved method for the preparation of type i collagen from skin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this