Microstructural and mechanical differences between digested collagen-fibrin co-gels and pure collagen and fibrin gels

Victor Lai, Christina R. Frey, Allan M. Kerandi, Spencer P. Lake, Robert T Tranquillo, Victor H Barocas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Collagen and fibrin are important extracellular matrix (ECM) components in the body, providing structural integrity to various tissues. These biopolymers are also common scaffolds used in tissue engineering. This study investigated how co-gelation of collagen and fibrin affected the properties of each individual protein network. Collagen-fibrin co-gels were cast and subsequently digested using either plasmin or collagenase; the microstructure and mechanical behavior of the resulting networks were then compared with the respective pure collagen or fibrin gels of the same protein concentration. The morphologies of the collagen networks were further analyzed via three-dimensional network reconstruction from confocal image z-stacks. Both collagen and fibrin exhibited a decrease in mean fiber diameter when formed in co-gels compared with the pure gels. This microstructural change was accompanied by an increased failure strain and decreased tangent modulus for both collagen and fibrin following selective digestion of the co-gels. In addition, analysis of the reconstructed collagen networks indicated the presence of very long fibers and the clustering of fibrils, resulting in very high connectivities for collagen networks formed in co-gels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4031-4042
Number of pages12
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Volume8
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

Fingerprint

Fibrin
Collagen
Gels
Proteins
Biopolymers
Computer-Assisted Image Processing
Fibers
Fibrinolysin
Structural integrity
Collagenases
Gelation
Tissue Engineering
Scaffolds (biology)
Tissue engineering
Extracellular Matrix
Cluster Analysis
Digestion
Tissue
Microstructure

Keywords

  • Collagen
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Fibrin
  • Mechanical properties
  • Microstructure
  • Tissue engineering

Cite this

Microstructural and mechanical differences between digested collagen-fibrin co-gels and pure collagen and fibrin gels. / Lai, Victor; Frey, Christina R.; Kerandi, Allan M.; Lake, Spencer P.; Tranquillo, Robert T; Barocas, Victor H.

In: Acta Biomaterialia, Vol. 8, No. 11, 01.01.2012, p. 4031-4042.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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