Type-I collagen is an attractive scaffold material for tissue engineering due to its ability to self-assemble into a fibrillar hydrogel, its innate support of tissue cells through bioactive adhesion sites, and its biodegradability. However, a lack of control of material properties has hampered its utility as a scaffold. We have modified collagen via the addition of methacrylate groups to create collagen methacrylamide (CMA) using a synthesis reaction that allows retention of fundamental characteristics of native collagen, including spontaneous fibrillar selfassembly and enzymatic biodegradability. This method allows for a rapid, five-fold increase in storage modulus upon irradiation with 365 nm light. Fibrillar diameter of CMA was not significantly different from native collagen. Collagenolytic degradability of uncrosslinked CMA was minimally reduced, while photocrosslinked CMA was significantly more resistant to degradation. Live/Dead staining demonstrated that a large majority (71%) of encapsulated mesenchymal stem cells remained viable 24 h after photocrosslinking, which further increased to 81% after 72 h. This material represents a novel platform for creating mechanically heterogeneous environments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)