Improving control over the mechanical and transport properties of collagen-based scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

University of Edinburgh

Past award

Student: Laura Beattie

Year Award Started: 2015

Biomedical materials and artificial tissues are being developed to repair, replace and enhance natural tissues. These biomaterials must maintain strength and stability following implantation. Collagen, the most widely used matrix for tissue engineering, undergoes a constant process of remodelling in the body, and the balance of its degradation by cells of the body with new collagen synthesis determines its strength and integrity over time. Thus, there is a clear need for safe and effective methods to control the rate implanted collagen is degraded. Using a cell culture model, researchers at the University of Strathclyde have discovered a safe method to slow down the rate at which collagen scaffolds are degraded. Collagen hydrogels seeded with cells and treated with existing clinically-approved drugs demonstrated increased stiffness compared to untreated hydrogels following time in culture. Further insight will now be gained into the potential for a wider range of drugs of the same class to inhibit collagen degradation, their mechanisms for doing this and whether they are retained over time. Methods for the mechanical characterisation of the collagen-based scaffolds will also be improved. Working with Collagen Solutions Plc, the data will ultimately be used to design novel collagen-based products for the medical devices market.

Research area: Musculoskeletal conditions


Professor Helen Grant
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Dr Philip Riches
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Professor Simon MacKay
Strathclyde Institute for Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Collagen Solutions Plc