A Song of Ice and Collagen: Fine-tuning collagen scaffolds for controlled tissue regeneration — Malavika Nair

Healthy non-injured human tissues have a remarkable ability to regenerate over a period of time characteristic of the tissue: from as little as a month to replace the liver to 10 years to fully replace bone.

However, in the case of injured or diseased tissue, the process is complicated by both the need to regenerate the cellular components as well as repair the underlying matrix with scar tissue to restore structural function.

While simple materials can be used to bridge the gap formed by diseased tissue, for injuries larger than a critical flaw size, cell diffusion becomes inefficient. Thus the need for a porous biodegradable scaffold that acts as a cell delivery vehicle is born, enabling efficient cell diffusion while providing the full structural and mechanical support for the organ during the repair process. Ice-templated collagen scaffolds satisfy these requirements for a regenerative scaffold whilst offering substantial flexibility in the final properties achieved.

In this talk, Malavika explores the interplay between ice and collagen during the fabrication process to explore the ways in which collagen scaffolds could be modified to replace virtually any tissue in the body.

Presented at Churchill College, 24 October 2018.

Image: An artistic rendering of human stem cells on the polymer scaffolds. Photo by Charles Gersbach and Farshid Guilak, Duke University

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